Hot flashes and hormonal night sweats can be two of of the most disrupting symptoms of menopause and they affect a large number of menopausal women. Because you can’t stop hot flashes or hormonal night sweats they can impact your daily life and interfere with sleep.
Menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes and hormonal night sweats may not seem like a big worry where health is concerned, but they can still greatly affect your quality of life. Chronic insomnia caused by these symptoms can hurt your overall health and the ability to function.
The harmful effects of insomnia can be immediate after just one sleepless night. According to research by Matthew Walker, director of the Sleep and Neuroimaging Laboratory at the University of California, Berkeley, the amygdala—the part of the brain that alerts the body to be prepared in times of danger—goes haywire when a full night’s sleeplessness occurs. That in turn wreaks havoc on the prefrontal cortex, which controls our logical reasoning and “fight or flight” reflex.
When someone is sleep deprived memory capacity and speech control diminish along with a spike in irritability. When the brian is robbed of its power to encode or consolidate memories due to sleep loss it begins to mimic the profile of people with acute psychiatric disorders. Other studies have shown that cortisol, a hormone related to stress and depression and linked to cardiovascular disease, builds up in the body instead of being moderated by a good night’s rest.
The fact is that not getting adequate sleep due to hormonal nights sweats causes concentration to diminish and muscles ache. And what’s worse, the ordinary dangers of modern life become many times more deadly without sleep. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, there are about 200,000 car accidents a year caused by sleepy drivers, killing more people than drunk driving.
Hundreds of studies have looked at Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) as a way to stop hot flashes and hormonal night sweats. HRT is renowned for its ability to alleviate menopausal symptoms and though it doesn’t completely stop hot flashes and hormonal night sweats, it has been successful in easing the intensity and allowing women to get a better night’s sleep.
Even though HRT can produce side effects such as irregular periods, uterine bleeding, and breast tenderness, it does alleviate some menopausal symptoms, such as hot flashes and is still regarded as an efficient treatment for menopause symptoms.
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