New techniques to make sleep easier during the summer months
It's bad enough that we have night sweats that disturb our sleep during menopause, but it gets even worse during the summer months when it is hot, hot, hot outside. Here are a few new options beyond the obvious to help you get through these hot summer nights.
Why you could be sweating:
You could be sweating for a variety of reasons beyond your hormones. To try and make the sweating a little more bearable, try the following techniques:
- Don’t work out too close to bedtime. As great as it is that you are staying active, you can prolong the sweating experience if you work out at night and don’t give your body time to cool down before bed.
- Avoid drinking alcohol and caffeine. As much as people like to have a glass of wine to relax at night, or a coffee after dinner, they both tend to warm the body up and won’t allow your body to relax for sleep.
- Try to go to sleep at the same time every night. A consistent schedule is essential to signal to the mind and body that it is time to go to sleep and stay to sleep every night.
- Don’t eat spicy foods. Once again, it tastes so good, but it is elevating the heat in your body before bed which could alter your sleep experience.
You’ve tried all of this and you still wake up in the middle of the night with a pool of sweat under your body? I have some new ideas to try!
Try eating almonds and cherries. The combo should help make you relax and get straight to sleep. I like this idea because it’s kind of like having dessert before bed.
Since my kids were born, I have always put some lavender essential oil on their pillow and it’s a calming ritual to relax you while sleeping. They love it and so do I:) Another pillow idea is to keep a frozen pack under your pillow and while you are falling asleep, flip the pillow as needed so you can feel the cooling effect.
You're here because you’ve been woken up from being drenched once again and you just want to get back to sleep. After you’ve tried a few of the fixes above, you can try breathwork. This is similar to meditation but you're more focused on the physical than the mental aspect of things. You will get the same amazing results too; breathwork can help reduce stress, control pain and improve sleep. I’ve heard that some women decide to read while trying to get back to bed in the middle of the night. That is an option. But, if I can...I would rather stay in bed and hopefully stay asleep the rest of the night with the breathwork technique. Focus on your inhales and exhales to get to pure bliss, uninterrupted sleep.
Here are some tips from Dr. Jen Fraboni, PT, DPT, (@docjenfit) that we thought would be useful to start off with:
- Pay attention to where your breath is coming from: It helps to think of your entire rib cage expanding with each inhale. You can start with your belly, but, as you take in more air, think about breathing into your sides and back, too.
- Dr. Fabroni recommends practicing in the mirror before bed and I love this idea! I am not used to doing breathing exercises so I need the visualization to ensure I am doing it correctly.
- Perfect your exhale: Dr. Fabroni recommends a 2-4 second inhale, then a 2 second hold, followed by a 6, 8, or 10 second exhale (whatever feels comfortable).
- Progress to nasal breathing: The doctor says that nasal breathing prevents you from expelling too much carbon dioxide.
- Dr. Fraboni has a great tip to help make all of us nasal breathers while we sleep.: Try placing a piece of tape across your nose (like a Breatheright strip) and between your eyebrows to help open everything up and make it easier to breathe through your nose. Have you ever tried anything like this?
What helps you get through summer nights with night sweats? We hope some of these tips help you!