If you’re reading this page, you’re probably here to find out if there’s anything you can do to relieve the overheating and sweaty grossness that wakes you up in the night when your hormones are wonky. Trust me, girl, I know where you’re coming from.
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I understand how miserable night sweats can be!
I’m 56 years old and I’ve been in menopause for two years. Before that, I had the worst three years of periods in my entire life. My hormones were all over the place. My doctor suggested I take some herbal remedies to help me ride out this phase of my life, but I can tell you that the herbals didn’t help me much, if at all. You should talk to your doctor about any problems you might be having. I am not a doctor myself and I can’t and won’t suggest any medical or herbal remedies for you – that is between you and your doctor.
Even though I live in Alaska, I still can’t sleep without the ceiling fan on and am constantly throwing the covers off. Before I found something that helped, my poor husband was so cold he piled on extra blankets on his side of the bed. I couldn’t even cuddle against him any more, like I love to do, because it was just too hot. It was exhausting, sad and lonely on my sweaty half of the mattress.
What are some causes of night sweats?
Hormone fluctuations. The most obvious cause of night sweats is hormone fluctuations – either right before your period, sometimes during your period, or before or during menopause. Usually, women who have night sweats before their period should talk to their doctor about the possibility that they’re about to enter perimenopause, which is the stage before menopause when the estrogen levels drop and testosterone levels increase. This hormone shift affects the part of your brain that regulates temperature (the hypothalamus). If you have a pre-existing hormone imbalance, the night sweats can be even more pronounced.
Alcohol. Alcohol disrupts the body’s ability to regulate temperature, and many women who drink wine complain that wine in the evenings can make the hot flashes worse.
Anxiety. If you are suffering from anxiety or stress, your body’s “fight or flight” response might be activated, causing you to sweat.
Blood sugar imbalances. If your blood sugar drops too low, your body can produce adrenaline as a response. You then sweat in response to the adrenaline. Try to keep your blood sugars level throughout the day.
When in doubt, talk to your doctor.
If your night sweats are new, or are combined with other symptoms, consult your doctor to rule out other health problems or perhaps to confirm the onset of menopause. Be sure to note if you have unexpected changes in your weight, anxiety, or other issues that could be connected or contributing.
I found some help getting to sleep, and staying asleep.
My friend bought a ChiliPad and told me it drastically helped her get to sleep and stay asleep, coolly and comfortably. I had never heard of a ChiliPad before, and had to look it up. I’m so glad she told me about it and so glad I did some reading about it.
The ChiliPad is a water-cooled mattress pad that works by pumping cooled water through thin tubes. There is a system for any size bed, either to fit on one side of the mattress or dual systems for the entire bed if there are two sleepers. A remote control makes it easy to change the temperature without getting up. The actual working part of the system is a “cube” a little bigger than a 4-slice toaster.
The system I bought is a half queen size, so it is only for my side of the bed. Wide elastic straps hold the ChiliPad in place, looped head-to-foot over the mattress. The ChiliPad is reversible so you can sleep on the slightly more direct-contact side or the slightly more padded side. It’s very easy to put on the bed (way more easy than putting on a fitted sheet!) even on our Sleep Number mattress. I have mine on the bed with the slightly more padded side upward and am content with it that way.
The ChiliCube control box sits on the night stand beside my bed, but you can put it on the floor either at the head or foot of the bed. I can use the remote control to turn it on or off, or change the temperature… but it’s close enough that I can just reach over and use the touch controls on the top of the Cube. The Cube is also where you add the distilled water that cools or heats the Pad. My bedroom is routinely about 75 degrees, and I keep my ChiliPad at 60 degrees. This works great for me, but if you would do better at a different temperature, no problem. The system’s temperature range is 55 degrees to 115 degrees, and you can switch between Celsius and Fahrenheit.
While the ChiliPad system is sold mainly for those of us who need some relief from the heat, it also works for people who can’t get enough heat! If that’s you, set your system to a warmer temperature and sleep like a cozy baby through the cold nights.
One feature that I think the ChiliPad makers should play up is that the cooling pad extends under your pillow and keeps the underside of the pillow cool, too – meaning that you can flip your pillow to the “cool side” as often as you like!
Now, I know what you’re thinking: the ChiliPad is way too expensive for you. I thought that, too. What persuaded me to buy one was that it was on sale for 20% off at the time, and I could try it out for 30 nights before deciding to keep it. It only took me a week to decide it was worth every penny to be able to sleep comfortably, free of the night sweats! If the price is still a bit daunting for you (and I understand that completely) and if the ChiliPad system isn’t on sale when you’re considering one, they do offer military discounts and often run sales, so check back. It’s worth it.
UPDATE: I’ve now been using my ChiliPad for six months, and I still absolutely love it. I sleep better when it’s cooling my side of the bed than I do when I don’t turn it on, so I use it most nights. I’ve never once regretted my purchase, and I know you’ll be happy with ChiliPad, too.