Good day my friends and happy Sunday…it’s the A-Z of Menopause Symptoms blog time again….this week we are on N and I’m going to be talking about NIGHT SWEATS and when I saw this picture I just had to use it….I remember feeling like a Camel in the Desert….too hot and got the hump!!
Ok, so I have to be completely open and transparent with you guys here and admit that I am going to be regurgitating the majority of what I talked about when I focused on hot flushes a few weeks back. The truth is the mechanics around them is very similar, but I think what I want to shine a light on here is the fact that Menopause can just have so many symptoms with so much impact. My aim is all about raising awareness and understanding of those symptoms and looking at how we can perhaps work together to start to get the old you back.
So, to recap…..why do we get night sweats during perimenopause and menopause? Well, as we know, during the menopause, oestrogen levels fall and although not fully understood, scientists think that this fall in oestrogen causes a glitch in the way the hypothalamus senses body temperature, making it think that you are too hot and that you therefore need cooling down.
The wave of sweating and redness to the skin we are experiencing occurs as a response designed to cool the body down. More blood goes to the small capillaries of the skin to release excess heat and sweat glands start working to release moisture that can start to cool us but when this happens in an involuntary way, as in we haven’t just been for a run or exerted ourselves in any way, it can feel very alarming.
During a hot flush many women describe a ‘wave’ of heat that rises up from their legs through their body, finishing at their face but night sweats can be different in the fact that we are often unaware until we wake up absolutely drenched in sweat. This can be so intense that there’s a need to start to strip off, open windows and often so bad that the bed is soaked through to the point of needing to be changed in the middle of the night. As you can imagine this does not make for a peaceful, restful sleep and can often happen numerous times in a night. One does not wake up fresh as a daisy after a night like that….and oh, look….now I’m shattered, foggy headed, grumpy and stressed!!
So, here we go again, with so many perimenopause and menopause symptoms we find they are linked to an increase in stress levels. If you’ve read my previous blogs you well know by now that those emotional, stress responses are merrily dropping into our stress bucket, leading to increased anxiety and overload.
Now, here we are again, in another vicious cycle but how is stress and anxiety making this worse? So…. I mentioned earlier about the response of sweating and feeling hot in situations of exertion, but we also get those very same feelings in response to our fight or flight receptors being nudged. Don’t forget that our primitive brain is on the alert and keeping us vigilant to run away from that Polar Bear or fight that tribesman. When our stress bucket is already at overflow point we are already functioning from that primitive, negative brain as we are struggling to pull ourselves out into our intellectual brain.
So how does this happen when we are sleeping? Well, our subconscious mind is always at work and although we are asleep there is still brain activity, thoughts and emotions that are swirling around and triggering that fight or flight response. Once triggered the Hippocampus looks through the filing cabinet of patterns of behaviour and responses, decides what kept you safe before and replays that response, nudging the Hypothalamus into messing with your temperature gauge.
I suppose what I am trying to say here folks is that we know there is a glitch going on and we know that without replacing those missing hormones that glitch may take a while to settle; but, the fact is, that a lot of those night sweats that occur may just be a response to feeling subconsciously anxious or stressed.
There are elements here that we may not be able to control, but what we can address is the stress and anxiety around those night sweats. The error in the system is there but the anxiety around the problem is just like adding fuel to those fires, exacerbating the problem, and allowing it to move from being an uncomfortable inconvenience to ruling your life.
So how do you take control of this? As you know by now, when we use Hypnotherapy trance during our sessions, the specifically designed language patterns are replicating the REM process, thus allowing us to work on emptying that bucket as the emotional responses are pulled through from our subconscious mind to be processed in your intellectual brain. As a result, you’re left feeling calmer, and symptoms (although they still may be present to a degree) become manageable because they are not being ignited with all of that extra negative fuel. When we team the hypnotherapy with our Solution Focused Psychotherapy work, we work on keeping you in that Intellectual mind by focusing on ways to release the happy hormone of Serotonin.
As many of you know, I became a hypnotherapist due to my own Menopause experience and the difference Hypnotherapy made for me…….being given the tools for the job to manage my overall symptoms is what kept me sane and got me through it. As a result my passion for the process is just endless…….why not give me a call for an informal chat as we all want to be living our best life!!