Night Sweats, Hot Flashes, Insomnia Remedies

The North American Menopause Society (NAMS) reports that an estimated 6,000 US women reach menopause each day, which translates to over 2 million women every year. The average age of natural menopause, which is the point of a woman's last menstrual period, is 51.4. The Women’s Health Initiative study, which followed 16,608 women being given hormone replacement therapy (HRT), discovered a high risk of breast cancer, coronary heart disease and stroke from the use of these drugs. As a result, more and more women today are seeking the use of natural remedies for menopause symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, migraine headaches, anxiety, fatigue, and insomnia.

Vitamin E is famous for it’s health benefits to glands and organs, however it may not be generally known that vitamin E is a proven remedy for hot flashes.  Adelle Davis, the first nutritionist to base her recommendations on science-based studies, says: “During the menopause the need for vitamin E soars ten to fifty times over that previously required.  Hot flashes and night sweats often disappear when 50 to 500 units of vitamin E are taken daily, but they quickly recur should the vitamin be stopped.”

One study supporting vitamin E is from the University of Iran, published in Gynecologic and Obstetric Investigation in 2007. 400 IU of vitamin E in a softgel cap was given to the participants daily for four weeks.  A diary was used to measure hot flashes before the study and at the end. The researchers concluded that vitamin E is effective and is a recommended treatment for hot flashes.

Another natural remedy has been making headlines lately. Mayo Clinic breast health specialist Sandhya Pruthi, M.D., conducted a study on flaxseed for hot flashes. The 29 participants in Mayo's clinical trial were women with hot flashes who did not want to take estrogen because of increased risk of breast cancer.  The study gave them six weeks of flaxseed therapy, consisting of 40 grams of crushed flaxseed eaten daily.  The result was that the frequency of hot flashes decreased fifty percent.   Participants also reported improvements in mood, joint or muscle pain, chills, and sweating.  This was a significant improvement in their health and quality of life.  Dr. Pruthi said: “We hope to find more effective nonhormonal options to assist women, and flaxseed looks promising.”

Pycnogenol is a natural plant extract from the bark of the maritime pine tree which grows exclusively along the coast of southwest France.   In a study from Taiwan, 100 pre-menopausal women aged 45-55 years, were given 100-mg capsules of Pycnogenol or placebo twice daily (at breakfast and dinner) for 6 months in a double-blind manner. All menopause symptoms evaluated (including depression, hot flashes, night sweats, memory, attractiveness, anxiety, sexual symptoms, and sleep) improved significantly with Pycnogenol treatment, as early as one month after initiation of treatment. The researchers said, "Supplementation with Pycnogenol clearly reduced the frequency as well as the severity of pre-menopausal symptoms."

Night sweats and hot flashes can become a form of insomnia in which a woman wakes up drenched in sweat and unable to sleep.  Regarding mineral deficiency at the time of menopause, Adelle Davis says, “The amount of calcium in a woman’s blood parallels the activity of the ovaries. During the menopause, the lack of ovarian hormones (estrogen and progesterone) can cause severe calcium deficiency symptoms to occur, including irritability, hot flashes, night sweats, leg cramps, and insomnia. These problems can be easily overcome if the intakes of calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D are all generously increased and are well absorbed.”

One insomnia remedy becoming popular among menopausal women is Sleep Minerals II from Nutrition Breakthroughs. This natural sleep aid contains highly absorbable forms of calcium, magnesium, vitamin D and zinc.  The ingredients are formulated with carrier oils such as rice bran oil, an oil that has been shown in studies to lower cholesterol levels, remedy menopause symptoms such as hot flashes and strengthen the immune system.

Anita L. of New Caney, Texas says: “I was having hot flashes every 30 minutes to an hour through the night and was so miserable. After about two weeks of taking the Sleep Minerals, I noticed an incredible difference with my sleep. I have much less interruption from hot flashes, I’m sleeping much better, and I’m a lot more comfortable.”

Valerie H. in Santa Clarita, California. says: “I had such severe menopause insomnia it took me hours to get to sleep even though I was extremely tired. I also had creepy crawly and tingling feelings in my legs at night.  I got the Sleep Minerals and started taking it and after about a week it started to work really well. I fall asleep now within 20 minutes and no more restless legs.”

Life after menopause has been found to be a fulfilling time of life for many women.   In a recent Gallup Poll sponsored by the North American Menopause Society, 51% of postmenopausal US women reported being the happiest and most fulfilled between ages 50 and 65. Menopause is an excellent time for a woman to keep her health at its peak and minimize symptoms such as night sweats and insomnia by using effective natural remedies.

For more information on Sleep Minerals II, click here.

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These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.  The nutrients and products discussed here are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.  Site last updated 9/14/13.