Night Sweats and Insomnia Are a Nightmare
I have a preferred temperature range for my bedroom. My bedroom must be below a certain temperature for me to sleep at all. If it is too warm, I cannot sleep. The ideal temperature I need is much lower than normal people, and I am thankful my husband prefers to sleep in a cold room. Since we are in agreement on temperature, there should be no issue. There is an issue.
I keep a thermometer in my bedroom so I can check the temperature at a glance because recent issues have caused a problem. My bedroom should be below 64 degrees Fahrenheit at all times. I prefer it to be closer to 60 degrees. It has stayed below the temperature required for sleeping, but I am still struggling to sleep.
Hormones, hot nights, and insomnia do not mix
Now that I am getting older, hormonal issues are coming into play. The biggest annoyance is the endless nights of baking in my bed. No matter what the thermometer says, I am burning up and cannot sleep. Night sweats are keeping me up night after night, and I am struggling to maintain my sanity.
Insomnia on its own is a big problem. Add in night sweats that keep me awake and it is a nightmare. I am getting less and less sleep, and turning the thermostat down even further does not help. I think I would still be burning up if I slept inside a freezer.
Perimenopause is keeping me awake
Many people I know think I am exaggerating when I say I keep my bedroom around 60 degrees Fahrenheit, but it is not an exaggeration at all. My thermometer confirms it is indeed that temperature. However, my body feels like I am standing in direct sunlight in the middle of the desert. I expect to open my eyes during an episode and spot cacti growing around me.
Perimenopause is not for the faint of heart. Over the years, I heard plenty of people say it causes insomnia. I laughed because I have suffered with insomnia for too many years to count now. The joke was on me because I was not prepared for additional sleep loss. In fact, I did not expect any change in sleeping patterns. I am no longer laughing.
Dealing with hormonal imbalances without HRT
I have had more than a handful of people suggest hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to deal with this and other issues. That is not an option for me. There is a history of breast cancer in my family, and the risk is too great for me to consider. I am riding this wagon until the wheels fall off. I expected a few bumps along the way, but bumpy would be a drastic improvement.
When I first heard about night sweats, I expected them to be short-lived. I did not expect them to go on for hours at a time. I truly expected it would be a short spell and then things would return to normal. That is not the case for me. I seem to be lucky like that.
Desperately seeking sleep
My nights are filled with hours on end of feeling like I am in a sauna. I feel like I am baking from the inside out and no matter how cold the temperature is in my room, I still feel hot. It is impossible to sleep. By the time an episode ends, I am generally exhausted. That is when insomnia kicks in and relieves me of any ability to sleep. The 2 combined are really kicking my behind.
At this point, I am at the mercy of a hormonal rollercoaster that wants me to experience sleep deprivation on a regular basis. If you see a cartoon rabbit with a hammer, send him my way. Maybe he can help me get some sleep.
How do you deal with night sweats? Has perimenopause affected your sleep patterns?
Do you have any other health conditions besides insomnia?