Don’t sweat it

In the last few months, I’ve noticed something quite remarkable and new.

It’s a regular occurrence now that I fear will never leave me – and will have to be conquered in order for my life to have some normalcy.

In the middle of the night . . . well, I sweat.

My body, once I go to sleep, becomes an inferno . . . I’m scared to close my eyes, in fear that flames will shoot out of my head, hands and feet while I’m unconscious, starting the house on fire.

I’m not stupid . . . I know what this is all about. I’ve heard stories, about everyday, normal women, just living their lives and going about their business . . . and then bam! Somewhere in their 40s, they find slumber to be a struggle as night sweats take over.

I never thought this would happen to me. I always reasoned that I’m normally so cold-blooded that even if my body temperature accelerated while I was sleeping, it would probably only get to 98 degrees.

In the good ol’ days, I’d lovingly put my icy feet on the husband’s and steal the covers . . . because I was so cold.

Well, those days are gone. Like clockwork, all is shattered as I wake up around midnight, in a fitful state of nightmarish thoughts and I’m soaked to the bone.

That’s when I start the process . . . I brush the wet hair from my face and whip back the covers to get some relief. I gasp, trying to suck some cool oxygen into my steaming body.

I curse the pajamas and rip away at the sheets. Exhausted, I sigh under the constant whirring of the ceiling fan – without that contraption, I surely would have died by now.

Once I get control of the liquid pouring from my pores, there’s only one thing left to do . . . pour ice cold water down my throat and on my face.

I’ve noticed that instead of one gallon jug of water, I make sure I have two full ones in the refrigerator, ready to go for hourly sweating emergencies.

Of course, by that point, being soaking wet, I start to become cold again. My damp hair is chilly in the cool house and my instinct is to pull at least the sheets back over me. As long as I’m awake, I’m fine.

But as soon as I let myself drift off . . . everything starts all over again and within 50-60 minutes, I’m jolted awake in my own personal sauna from hell.

I’ve shared these observations with other women . . . after all, at a certain age, they know all about this horrible thing called night sweats. And wow, do they have ideas!

An entire office of women gave me material about a product called “Hot Girl Pearls.” They are basically a string of pearls that you chill before bedtime – then wear on your neck to keep your body temperature in check.

Another bunch gave me the amazing idea of rice in a nylon sock. So simple, they said, as they handed me a single, brown nylon knee-high (which interestingly enough, someone just had lying around) – just fill it full of rice, cinch it shut, stick it in the freezer and then wrap it around the back of your neck when you go to sleep! It works really well.

The only problem was that my violent physicality is apparently jarring, seeing how my body positions consistently change . . . I lose my pillow, my blankets turn sideways . . . thereby the rice sock only ends up on the floor.

There are many different brands of tea to drink, intended to assist with this problem, but I get heartburn if I drink it too late.

There’s the option of not wearing any pajamas . . . but with the threat of fire shooting from my appendages, I don’t want to risk nudity in the midst of an emergency.

I’ve found where a company actually sells a clothing line called Menopause Pajamas, but frankly, I’d rather risk the naked fire emergency after seeing what they looked like.

There’s a cream you can rub on your abdomen. The problem, however, is that it is rather gummy – which would only remind me of being sick as a child and grossed out by everything sticking to my Vick’s VapoRub.

One theory is using bamboo sheets. Yes, sheets made from bamboo. At first, I was intrigued . . . only to find that the sheets don’t stop the intense internal heat, they just more readily soak up the sweat. Producers note that the sheets have to be laundered each day . . . uh, you think?

One naturalist suggests using self-hypnosis, but I’m already so nuts, I’m frightened I’d put myself in a trance and not be able to get out.

And I’ve even found a suggestion that women should smear something called activated charcoal in their arm pits. Here’s the deal . . . with all the rolling, snoring, frustrated fits and sweating, I already have a hard enough time coaxing my poor husband back into our bedroom.

I had decided that night sweats were simply my reality and nothing could be done. I accepted that in eight hours of bedtime I would spend at least three fighting the fire.

That’s until my favorite physician, the beloved Dr. Oz, made a profound announcement. He described a very specific, herbal concoction that comes in tiny little pellets you let dissolve under your tongue.

“Try it and see, fair enough?” he asked his female audience.

Once the little pellets were tracked down, I started the new practice. Four a night, right before bed.

The first night I took it . . . imagine my surprise to find initial consciousness at 6 a.m.! And I wasn’t soaked, I wasn’t dying.

I was normal.

That night began a series of more and now I’m into weeks. Amazingly, it’s had an incredible effect on me.

Sure, I still wake up now and again with a little sweating, but it’s absolutely nothing like it was before. I may have conquered the night sweat curse!

For the women out there who want to know the secret, contact me. Don’t worry, it’s non-narcotic, non-toxic and all natural, found in health food stores with no back-alley contacts required.

So I’ll join with Dr. Oz (who amazingly is male) in saying what every woman this age wants to hear, “Don’t sweat it!”



Thanks for reading this article. content is free and never behind a paywall.
We believe in trustworthy, local journalism that is accessible to everyone.