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Night sweats

Overview

Night sweats mean hot flushes (or hot flashes) that occur during sleep. Night sweats appear to be many women's first experience of hot flushes. CeMCOR scientists found that night sweats that occurred only intermittently across the cycle were more likely to occur around menstruation for women in very early perimenopause. At the time, these early perimenopausal women had regular cycles and few daytime hot flushes.

We know less about night sweats than we do about hot flushes since many studies do not track them separately from daytime ones. When night sweats become more intense and sweaty they are more likely to us wake up. Even if we aren't startled awake feeling too hot and sweating, night sweat occurrence during the night may make us feel we've had a less-than-restful sleep.

Like hot flushes, night sweats are more common when we are stressed, overweight or obese, physically inactive or smokers. Improving our responses to stress (relaxation/meditation/yoga breathing), losing weight so we have a normal weight, exercising regularly and stopping smoking will all improve night sweats. Anything we believe will help (like a placebo in a controlled trial) will improve night sweats about 20-50 percent. Night sweats are classically treated with estrogen and even more effectively with estrogen and a synthetic form of progesterone (progestin). CeMCOR scientists recent showed in a randomized controlled trial that natural progesterone was effective for treating night sweats and hot flushes in healthy women within 10 years of starting menopause. Although progesterone is effective in improving sleep, it similarly improved daytime hot flushes and night sweats.

Join a Study:

Enrolment complete: Perimenopausal Hot Flush Study

Enrolment is now complete. Thank you for your interest.
CeMCOR is now recruiting Canadian women for this CIHR-funded randomized controlled trial to test whether oral micronized progesterone is more effective than placebo as therapy for hot flushes and night sweats in perimenopausal women.

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