By Elina Winnel, Sleep Expert and Emma Ambassador
Are things getting ‘too hot to handle’ in the bedroom – but not in a good way? Hot flushes, hormonal changes, night sweats and chills are all common issues for women as they get older.
Sometimes this is a sign that your body has started menopause, other times it can be from stress or anxiety, and it can also be because it’s just a hot night in Australia and you’re bloody sweaty!
Night sweats can disrupt a good night’s sleep, which is vital for our body to recover, restore and strengthen the immune system.
And it isn’t just women going through menopause that are struggling with temperature fluctuations. As a sleep expert, I see many clients as early as their 20s and 30s who report similar symptoms.
Fluctuations in hormones such as estrogen and progesterone can wreak havoc on your sleep, disrupting both your body and mind’s ability to recover and regenerate. The fluctuations cause a surge in adrenaline creating a wave of heat in the body. These hot flushes and changes in body temperature can often disrupt people’s sleep.
It’s important to take steps to break this vicious sleep loss cycle so that your body can get the rest it needs. A disruption sleep affects you on a number of different levels:
- On a physical level – lack of sleep inhibits muscle, bone and tissue repair, affecting your health, fitness, strength, immunity and appearance as well as energy levels.
- On an emotional level – your mood is also affected, causing you to feel grumpy, less motivated, and more anxious.
- And on a mental level – your thinking becomes less clear and your memory worsens.
If you’re getting hot in the bedroom – there are some easy fixes to help you get a better sleep.
Get your bedding sorted
Your sleep infrastructure is make or break for a good night’s sleep. From your mattress and pillow to your sheets – these are all elements that affect your quality of sleep. Choose bed linen and nightwear made of natural breathable materials such as cotton. You should also consider a gel-infused or foam pillow to help support your neck and promote breathability around your head.
But most importantly, select a mattress that helps regulate your body temperature as you require a lower body temperature to get into a deeper, more restful sleep cycle. A normal mattress warms up and returns your body heat back to you, whereas, graphite foam mattresses optimise body temperature, by absorbing your body’s excess heat. Emma’s Diamond Hybrid mattress features this unique cooling technology, creating a deeper, more restful sleep.
Just chill out
Our body temperature increases with stress and falls with relaxation. If you are experiencing menopause, a reduction in progesterone can increase racing thoughts. This racing mindset is the same if you are stressed or anxious. Try to calm yourself before bed by doing something relaxing such as reading, slow-paced breathing or meditation. Consciously work your way through, relaxing the various muscles in your body, whilst slowing your breathing. If you find quieting your mind difficult, try listening to a guided sleep meditation or calming music.
It’s mind over matter
What do you think about before you go to sleep? Many believe they are not thinking about anything in particular, but more often than not, anxious or stressful thoughts are common before bed, particularly if you are stressed. Stress can happen throughout the day and subconsciously impact your sleep later in the night, so take moments throughout the day to slow down your breathing and it’s important to manage your anxiety from morning to night.
When hot flushes occur, as uncomfortable as they may be, I encourage people to “ride the wave” of the heat, rather than getting stressed about it. The latter will only result in increasing the adrenaline levels further plus frustration will only cause the hot flush to intensify.
The more we tame our minds during the daytime as well as before bed, the less likely we are to wake up with such severe night sweats.
Mind over matter.
Elina Winnel is a sleep expert and a brand ambassador for Emma – The Sleep Company.
Emma – The Sleep Company, is the most awarded mattress brand in Europe and Choice ® Top Scorer for Best Mattress in 2020 and 2021 in Australia!
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