In the Middle of the (Sweaty) Night

Standard

January:

This dampness was weird.  From middle of the night nowhere.

“I’m all sweaty,” I said to Cliff.

(We have the rule that if the other person seems to be awake, it’s okay to talk, even if it’s two a.m.)

“You’re using way too many covers,” he answered.  “You always have.”

(I have heard this is a common complaint of husbands.)

“But,” I said, “I used the same blanket and quilts last winter, and I didn’t have night sweats.  I bet this is it!  Menopause.”

August:

“I’m all sweaty,” I said to Cliff.

“It’s just hot in here.  Kick off that blanket.  It’s summer!”

“But,” I said, “I slept with this blanket last year, and I didn’t have night sweats.”

(I have to have a certain amount of cover weight on me, even in summer or otherwise, I feel like Middle of the Night Monsters could snatch me up.)

The Next Year:

The same conversations!   (Many times.)   Maybe husbands feel some sadness when menopause approaches (or they’ve heard enough about it to get a little sweaty with worry).

Now:

I’m two years into The Great Pause, and Cliff still won’t admit those were real night sweats.  (They’ve gone, BTW.)  

But I knew it was menopause, and it was.

Sweet things can happen in the middle of the night.  A cat can purr near your pillow.  Rain can drum a lullaby.  An idea can arrive for a new blog post.  And husbands can think of you as forever twenty-one.

More about Night SweatsEveryday Health explains the biology of night sweats.

Photo:  I often wonder about our menopausal sisters of yesteryear and wish I could hear their stories.  Too bad these vintage nightgowns can’t talk.  They might have some night sweaty tales to tell.

21 responses »

    • Yes. My mom went on a kick of buying vintage clothing a while ago. I have some fun petticoats, too. I should give you one. Too tiny for me.

  1. Night sweats are the worse! At least they were for me. I had my first one shortly after I weaned my daughter. I thought: NO! I can’t be in menopause already! Fortunately, after a few months of night sweats they went away until I really did start menopause. Getting drenched in the middle of the night, having to get up, wash off, and get a new nightgown is not condusive to a good night’s sleep. Multiply that by 2 or 3 times a night and it’s no wonder menopausal women are sometimes accused of being grumpy or forgetful! I have them only very rarely now, thank goodness, but enough to remember how disruptive they can be. And I marvel at the body’s abilitity to produce such heat…esp. since all winter I’m freezing to death. Where’s that heat when I actually need it?!

  2. In bed in winter…I tell my husband that I’m turning on my furnace to keep us both warm. He laughs. Turns over and snores on off. A happy kind of snore. And, yes, this is a dorky way of looking at night sweats, I admit, but it seems to help me. Thanks for your cool blog (and those beautiful nightgowns…swoon…)

  3. Beautiful gowns, and lovely thought that your husband may simply have you forever in his mind as his young bride. Sweet.

    Now that I am firmly in The Pause, the night sweats are gone, along with the night burns. The night sweats didn’t bother me as much as those dang “burning sheets.” It felt like the sheets were actually burning my skin. ICK and OUCH! I would toss and turn, trying to get away from those burning sheets, then finally break out in a full blown sweat that would leave a puddle on my chest and stomach. Then I could dry off and go to sleep. I welcomed the night sweats because the burning would finally stop.

    Everybody is different, and that’s the incredible thing about sharing the journey. I’m so glad you’re here to help, Barbara!

  4. haven’t had an official one yet but feel well prepared from all the stories i hear from siblings and friends. yes, and if only we had stories from great grandparents of years gone by. i do remember my grandmother always complaining of being hot. now i get it. i always wondered why she wore very little and we were in sweaters. my sister lives in wisconsin and barely wears a coat outdoors.

    have never heard of the burning sheets. will remember that one!

  5. Agree, no burning sheets..yikes!
    Going through those sweaty nights now, no fun. Transitioning into a new chapter. I thank God for a good sense of humor.

  6. loved the pretty nighties………I bet those are more comfortable than todays pjs. I have found the day after a night of sweats, I have migraine headaches……ugh.
    and I do not like it when men/husbands try to explain away things they have NO idea about. ..that makes me even more grumpy.
    I too HAVE to have cover, no matter the season or temps! I guess the same bedtime monsters visited us.

    • Wow you have the same monsters! Hey, maybe we shouldn’t worry. Maybe a Middle of the Night Monster wouldn’t dare come near a menopausal woman!

  7. I have,unfortunately, day sweats. Like I was sitting at a restaurant with my daughter recently and all of a sudden my face gets hot – and then I’m sweating. “Are you okay?” she asks with alarm. Yes, yes, and i get up to go to the ladies room for a minute. Uncontrollable. Unpredictable. Unavoidable. At least, I guess, I sleep through the night without them – that is when I can sleep through the night. But that’s another story – and another symptom. Try Soma “cool nights” gowns if you suffer with those night demons – they’re fantastic. I know this because I’m often in my “jammies” well into the morning while at my laptop.

  8. I don’t get them, but I’ve read that you should keep a thermos of ice water on your night table, and drink as much as you can, as soon as it starts. I’ve heard this works for daytime also

  9. I, too, have to have covers over me. Even in summer. I think you hit it when you said that you feel like the Middle of the Night Monsters could snatch you up. Usually just a foot stuck out from under the covers works for me.

    • I also feel like spiders can come bite your toe if it’s out. Of course I suppose spiders can go under covers, too. Yikes! It’s amazing we’re brave enough to go to sleep at all.

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