It’s 3:30 a.m., and you suddenly wake up from a vivid dream that ended with your kayak capsizing, leaving you immersed in the ocean. But when you open your eyes, you find that ocean has made its way into reality. Your sheets are soaked. “Not again,” you mumble through your grogginess. These night sweats have been become a frequent occurrence since entering menopause. You’ve just about had it with the night moves – 4 a.m. showers, laying with a towel beneath you or pulling out the back-up sheets. Luckily, your husband sees your frustration, and he’s shown his support by sneaking to change the sheets while you are in the shower. Not everyone understands like he does, so you count yourself lucky.
Initially, you had thought these night sweats were just caused by the bizarre dreams you were having – like the one where you were trapped in the lion cage at the zoo when all the animals went loose. Yeah, those kinds. But then, you noticed your periods fluctuating, eventually halting, and you had that “a-ha” moment: this must be menopause, which your doctor confirmed. So, all those rituals you started doing before bed to calm your mind? They might stop the zoo dreams, but not the night sweats. Nope, those are caused by inevitable hormones.
You knew hot flashes could happen to you once you reached this stage – your mother talked about them all the time. But you didn’t realize hot flashes included night sweats – also known as vasomotor symptoms – which would disrupt your sleep and, therefore, your day. You now wonder if there is anytime you can get peace?
There is a way, and the first step to finding that peace is understanding that others are also waking up in these puddles of sweat. They’re exhausted, just like you, but they may not know where to go or who to turn to, and maybe their significant others don’t “get it” quite as much as yours. So, try talking to other women – your friends, your sister, your yoga instructor – about this sleep disturbance and how it’s affecting you. If they’re experiencing it, too, maybe they have some helpful tips. If they aren’t, you can at least find support. Everyone loves talking about their crazy dreams to one another, so maybe you can take it one step further and also talk about those night sweats, opening the door to enlightening conversations.
But remember, always turn to your doctor for credible information, guidance and treatment options. Your doctor will be able to determine if this is a night sweat, or just a bad dream, as well as what to do about it. With a little bit of talk and guidance, you have the ability to turn those frustrating night moves into a good night’s sleep.
For more information about menopause and vasomotor symptoms, visit www.forevher.com.
All opinions expressed in this post are our own.
This post is sponsored by TherapeuticsMD, Inc.