How to deal with menopausal hot flushes and night sweats
While menopause may signal the end of menstruation, it cam bring with it some challenges. In fact, women often complain of a multitude of different symptoms.
Studies have shown that more than three out of four menopausal women experience hot flushes and night sweats. These unpleasant sensations can happen at any time, even while you sleep, and although sometimes they will be brief, lasting just a few seconds, they can also persist for an hour or more.
On the plus side, there are some medical treatments and drugs available, including hormone replacement therapy and antidepressants. Unfortunately, some of these can prove ineffective and may even harm your body.
If you’re struggling with symptoms of menopause, including hot flushes and night sweats, here are some tips to help you cope with them, and even keep them at bay.
Three types of exercise that can help with symptoms of the menopause
Some research studies have found that exercise can help to reduce night sweats during menopause. Here are three activities you can try.
This fun activity will boost your cardio fitness. If you are new to cycling, short journeys are advisable at first but then you can gradually increase the duration as you develop your confidence.
You don’t need to cycle for miles in rough terrain, even a short trip to your local shops can be beneficial. If possible, always take the bike rather than the car.
Menopausal women often face an increased risk of osteoporosis, a disease that reduces bone density and increases susceptibility to breaks. Fortunately, yoga can help by:
- Increasing your bone flexibility.
- Improving your metabolism.
- Strengthening your muscles.
- Maintaining your cardio and circulatory system.
Yoga is an exercise in mindfulness and it will help you reduce any anxiety and depression you may be experiencing.
One simple yoga exercise you can try is meditation. Try to spend 10 minutes a day focusing on clearing your mind. This will help alleviate any negative or anxious thoughts. It is also an excellent way of training your mind.
3) Weight training
This form of exercise will enable you to strengthen your body, bones and muscles. Remember, strong muscles will make it easier for you to carry, lift, move and reach for objects. Weight training can also:
- Lower your blood pressure.
- Relieve your arthritic pain.
- Improve your metabolic rate.
- Help you sleep better.
Exercise is vital as it will help you look and feel good, boost your mood, and improve your overall health. To ensure you obtain the maximum benefits, your exercise regime should target your specific problem areas (in this instance, hot flushes and night sweats).
In fact, you should consider adding a daily exercise routine to your schedule even before you reach menopause age.
What if you don’t enjoy exercising?
Don’t let a bad past experience in a gym class hamper your quest to get in shape. Why not try other physical activities that don’t actually feel like exercise? For example, ask your family and friends to go out dancing, wall-climbing or even rowing.
Drinking plenty of water can help to ease the effects of hot flushes
Another proven menopause treatment is drinking at least eight glasses a day. It can also help minimise the effects of hot flushes. As night sweats usually occur while you sleep, make sure you keep a bottle of drinking water at your bedside.
However, you should avoid carbonated beverages and hot drinks as they have a tendency to make you feel bloated.
One common side effect of menopause is dry skin, but by drinking lots of water, your organs and skin will be hydrated. Water also acts as a natural moisturiser for your skin which is why it should be a regular part of your healthy diet.
Other tips for combating hot flushes and night sweats
When the hot flushes and night sweats rear their ugly head, it is common to feel irritated and moody. Here are some suggestions that will help you obtain some rapid relief.
As soon as you feel an episode coming on, practise deep, controlled and slow breathing. This is known as paced respiration.
If you are overweight, it could also help to lose some weight. According to research, menopausal symptoms are often worse for overweight women:
“In perimenopause, obese women were significantly more likely to have moderate/severe physical symptoms… than normal or overweight women. In postmenopause, obese women were significantly more likely to have moderate/severe vasomotor symptoms.”
Certain types of food and drink can also aggravate your menopausal symptoms. As far as is possible, try to avoid:
- Processed food.
- Spicy food.
- Fast food.
- Fatty meat.
To find out if any type of food or drink could be triggering your menopause symptoms (or worsening them), try eliminating one at a time and seeing what difference it makes to your hot flushes and night sweats.
You can also relieve symptoms by wearing suitable clothing, such as light clothes in warm weather, and layers you can easily remove if you experience a hot flush in colder temperatures.
And finally, fans and air conditioners can also help keep you fresh. If you are going out, keep a small battery fan in your bag and use it when needed.
Need more menopause tips?
Love to read more advice to help you through the menopause? We recommend reading these articles:
- Eight ways you can make the most of the menopause
- What to eat to reduce your menopause symptoms
- Why the menopause can be a change for the better
- From agency high-flier to menopause warrior – read the inspiring story of Menopoised co-founder Nikki Gatenby
Lady Care Plus is a small, powerful drug-free device that could help reduce the symptoms of menopause and perimenopause.