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Can exercise & sleep help your anxiety & night sweats?

In the first part of our series, Sally Perkins, writer for for SeniorAdvisor, guest blogged on menopause, night sweats, and anxiety. Anxiety, no matter one’s age, is a normal bodily reaction to stresses. It’s all about how we deal with our anxiety when it occurs that matters. For the second half of this series, she writes on the role of exercise, communication, and sleep, to deal with night sweats and anxiety and in the past we’ve covered the importance of consistent sleep, too.

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Exercise Relieves Stress

There’s a positive connection between exercise and relaxed feelings. Eight studies have found that regular physical activity can lessen anxiety symptoms in healthy older adults. Take the benefits further by exercising outside: getting some sun will boost Vitamin D which keeps your bones strong.

Exercise is also good for menopause. A Penn State study found that when women going through menopause exercised, they experienced fewer hot flashes in the day following a workout.

The Importance Of Reaching Out  

Dealing with anxiety and night sweats can make you become isolated due to the fear of being a burden on loved ones, but this just makes the problem worse. Reaching out to supportive friends and loved ones will make a huge difference in easing anxiety in your later years. Just by knowing someone’s there to listen to what you have to say and offering comfort will decrease your burden.

It’s also good to speak to a trusted doctor when flushing, night sweats  and anxiety are troubling you. They might just be linked to anxiety or menopause, or both, but not consulting with a doctor could exacerbate feelings of anxiety. It’s always worth checking out your symptoms, especially since ongoing, severe panic attacks are not a normal symptom of menopause.

Ensuring A Good Night’s Sleep

Research has found that the most common sleep complaint for elderly adults with anxiety and depression is waking up during sleep. Sleep problems are also common during menopause, with 61 percent of perimenopausal and postmenopausal women experiencing insomnia regularly.

To encourage better sleep, try doing these things:

– Spend time in the sun. Natural light boosts serotonin, a hormone that makes you feel calm and happy. This is great before bedtime to encourage restful sleep.

– Sleep in a dark room as this encourages the brain to release melatonin, otherwise known as the “sleep hormone.”

– Your bed should be as comfortable as possible, with a supportive mattress to eliminate aches and pains, fluffy pillows, and breathable sheets that prevent moisture, such as Wicked Sheets. These are important if you get night sweats, whether from menopause or anxiety, as dry sheets will make you feel less anxious and prevent discomfort that could disrupt your sleep.

– Keep the bedroom as cool as possible. Sleep with a window open or use a fan. Anxiety is often a vicious cycle: you wake up panicking and become aware of your sweating and anxiety, which exacerbates both. Keeping your body temperature cool will help you feel calmer and give you relief from those irritating menopausal hot flashes.

Anxiety and menopause can be unsettling to have to deal with, but there are ways to manage both successfully. With a few lifestyle tweaks, symptoms like excessive sweating don’t have to get in the way of a happy, healthy retirement. Contact your physician for any medical concerns. Night sweats and anxiety are nothing to be ashamed of and should be treated in the same way as any other medical issue.

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As always, sleep well, sleep wicked.

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