Women and Sleep

How to sleep with hot flashes and night sweats


Flash attacks, hot moments, heat waves, and power surges. If you haven’t caught on yet, we’re talking about menopausal hot flashes. Hot flashes are typically caused by menopause — which happens when you have your final menstrual period.1  

What is a hot flash?  

A hot flash is a sudden and intense surge of heat that radiates through your upper body. Your heart rate can increase while you experience an overwhelming sensation of warmth that can last for a few minutes, leaving you feeling flushed and sweaty.1

It's like having your internal thermostat suddenly throw a wild party without warning. And your sweat glands work overtime as if you’re stuck in an overcrowded nightclub. One moment, everything's calm, and then in the next, confetti cannons explode, and your body yells, ‘Surprise! It’s getting hot in here!’  

When hot flashes happen at night, they’re called night sweats. And when they also happen during a hot summer…well that’s called plain awful.  

Night sweats and sleep disturbances

It almost goes without saying that having night sweats caused by menopause can be disruptive to your sleep. Our ResMed 2024 Sleep Survey found that among Australian women experiencing menopause or (peri)menopause (the transition to menopause) just under half (68%) experience night sweats or hot flashes at night. Meanwhile, three-quarters of those same women report experiencing disturbed or broken sleep.

Let’s call time on suffering in silence. If night sweats are keeping you from getting a good night’s sleep, you should know that help is available.

If you’re new to this menopause journey, the good news is that with a few lifestyle changes, you can better navigate through the uncomfortable nights. Here's a guide to help you battle the heat and enjoy a more restful sleep.

Tips to combat hot flashes and night sweats

1. Choose cooling sleepwear and bedding  

Opt for breathable and lightweight fabrics like cotton and linen for your pyjamas and bedding. These materials can allow better airflow and may help regulate your body temperature.

2. Stay hydrated

Keep a thermos of cool water by your bedside. Staying hydrated is crucial, and having water readily available can be soothing during those unexpected bouts of warmth.

3. Keep a fan close to your face  

Position a fan close to your bed to create a gentle breeze. This can help maintain a cool sleep environment and provide comfort during hot flashes. You can also try misting your face with a water spray bottle.

4. Make healthy lifestyle choices

Steer clear of alcohol, spicy foods, and caffeine in the evening. These can trigger hot flashes and disrupt your sleep.2

If you smoke, consider quitting. Smoking can exacerbate hot flashes and impact your overall health.3

5. Exercise regularly

Make sure you get in some physical activity during the day. Exercise not only promotes overall well-being but can also contribute to more restful sleep.4 Aim for activities like walking, swimming, or yoga.4

6. Speak to your doctor

If night sweats impact your sleep quality, it’s important to speak with your doctor. They can offer personalised advice, explore potential medical interventions, or adjust any current medications that might be contributing to your symptoms.

With a few adjustments to your sleep environment and lifestyle, you can better manage and alleviate the discomfort that can come with night sweats.  

A good night's sleep is within reach with the right strategies in place. Sweet dreams!

To better understand your sleep, take our free sleep assessment today.  


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