Hormones Matter TM

Hot Yoga, Yes! Night Sweats, No!

April 9, 2012  |  Amy Sandberg

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Summer is my favorite season. Humidity is my favorite weather condition. I sleep under a down comforter–in the summer. I practice yoga 3 times a week in a 105 degree studio.  I take 120 degree showers. I’m a fire sign. I even know how to breathe fire.

Get the picture?

So who would have guessed that I wouldn’t get along well with one of the classic perimenopausal symptoms–night sweats? Yes I love heat, but when my furnace kicks on–generally in the middle of the night–l begin to have nightmares, which sets off tossing and turning, except I can’t toss and turn very easily because I’m stuck to my sheets that are drenched in sweat. If my partner should reach over to touch me he could literally finger paint on my back, if he were so inclined. Perhaps the worst insult of all is that while I can lose 3-4 pounds of water in a typical one-hour yoga class, I swear to you that I gain weight from night sweats. And it’s stubborn weight. Tell me, how is that fair?  I mean if I’m going to sweat all night and must wash my sheets 2-3 times a week, there should be a silver lining, right?

My partner suggested that I sleep without covers (me thinks there may be an ulterior motive here). Even though I love burrowing under my beloved blankie, I got brave and tried it one night. It didn’t help. The night sweat burn comes from the inside, not an overheated environment. Even though most gynecologists think of night sweats as simply hot flashes that visit us while we sleep, I’ve had hot flashes, and night sweats, are not merely undercover hot flashes.

Thankfully the night sweats come and go. I’m not sure what brings them on, though I have noticed a correlation with drinking alcohol. I’m also unsure what sends them packing from time to time. If I did know, I promise you, I’d share.

I find the only thing that truly helps when it comes to menopausal symptoms such as night sweats, is a sense of humor. If I can joke about it, then it hasn’t won. So I joke whenever I can. And if I’m sleep deprived from several restless nights on end, then I remind myself that I survived sleep deprivation before when I had newborns, and I can survive it again.

What’s been your experience? Has any coping mechanism proved helpful? Can you find the humor in night sweats and menopause? And one more question:

Is it nap time yet?