The key difference between hot flashes and night sweats is that hot flashes are a sudden flare of heat, paired with sweating and flushed skin, while night sweats are repeated episodes of heavy sweating during sleep.
Menopause is the time that marks the end of menstrual cycles in women. It normally affects women between the ages of 45 and 55. Women may experience changes in the monthly cycle, hot flashes, night sweats, and other symptoms in the menopausal transition or perimenopause.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What are Hot Flashes
3. What are Night Sweats
4. Similarities – Hot Flashes and Night Sweats
5. Hot Flashes vs. Night Sweats in Tabular Form
6. FAQ – Hot Flashes and Night Sweats
7. Summary – Hot Flashes vs. Night Sweats
What are Hot Flashes?
Hot flashes are a sudden flare of heat, sweating, and discomfort that occur in women experiencing menopause. They are also known as uncomfortable vasomotor symptoms of menopause. On average, they can happen in the late 40s to early 50s. Hot flashes have different characteristics, such as a brief sensation of heat, becoming flush and starting sweating and feeling chilled. Moreover, hot flashes are triggered by hot weather, heat, smoking, caffeine, alcohol, spicy foods, tight clothing, and stress.
Hot flashes can be diagnosed through physical symptoms evaluation. Furthermore, hot flashes can be treated through hormone replacement therapy, non-hormonal medications like venlafaxine, fluoxetine, paroxetine, escitalopram, gabapentin, clonidine, and over-the-counter therapies like evening primrose oil, black cohosh, soy, acupuncture, and vitamin E.
What are Night Sweats?
Night sweats are recurring episodes of intense sweating that occur when someone is asleep. These episodes are significant enough to drench the nightclothes. Underlying conditions or illnesses cause night sweats. Therefore, night sweats can be a result of depression medications, hormone therapy, a drug used to treat opioids such as methadone, drugs used to treat low blood sugar with diabetes, conditions like alcohol use disorders, anxiety disorders, autoimmune disorders, menopause, etc. Moreover, night sweats can be triggered by things like alcohol, spicy foods, caffeine, and smoking.
Night sweats are diagnosed through medical history, physical symptoms evaluation, and psychological evaluation. Furthermore, treatment options for night sweaty may include hormone replacement therapy, stopping medicines that trigger night sweats, home remedies such as wearing loose-fitting pajamas, using lightweight bedding, using a fan, sipping cold water at night, exercising regularly during the day, and avoiding common triggers such as alcohol, smoking, caffeine, and spicy food.
What are the Similarities Between Hot Flashes and Night Sweats?
- Hot flashes and night sweats are two common menopausal symptoms.
- Both can be seen in women at the ages of 40 and 50.
- Different things can trigger them.
- Both can be diagnosed through physical symptoms evaluation.
- They can be treated through common therapies like hormone replacement therapies.
What is the Difference Between Hot Flashes and Night Sweats?
Hot flashes are a sudden flare of heat, paired with sweating and flushed skin, while night sweats are repeated episodes of heavy sweating during sleep. Thus, this is the key difference between hot flashes and night sweats. Furthermore, hot flashes are mainly caused by menopause, whereas night sweats can be caused by depression medications, hormone therapy, drugs used to treat opioids such as methadone, drugs used to treat low blood sugar with diabetes, conditions like alcohol use disorders, anxiety disorders, autoimmune disorders, menopause, etc.
The infographic below presents the differences between hot flashes and night sweats in tabular form for side-by-side comparison.
FAQ: Hot Flashes and Night Sweats
What is the difference between night sweats and just sweating at night?
Night sweats typically involve intense, drenching sweats that can soak through bedding and nightclothes. This is often associated with an underlying medical condition or hormonal changes, such as menopause. On the other hand, sweating at night is a more general term that may include mild to moderate perspiration during sleep, without the same level of intensity or association with an underlying health issue.
What stage of menopause is night sweats?
Night sweats typically occur during the perimenopausal and menopausal stages.
What do hot flashes feel like at night?
Hot flashes at night are characterized by sudden feelings of intense heat, often accompanied by sweating and a rapid heartbeat, disrupting sleep.
Summary – Hot Flashes vs. Night Sweats
Hot flashes and night sweats can negatively impact the quality of life, sleep, and overall well-being of people. Hot flashes are mainly seen in menopausal women, while night sweats can be seen in menopausal women and people who have underlying conditions or illnesses. A hot flash is a sudden feeling of warmth in the upper body followed by sweating, whereas night sweats are repeated episodes of heavy sweating during sleep. This is the key difference between hot flashes and night sweats. Making certain lifestyle changes may help limit hot flashes and night sweats. Furthermore, acupuncture, hypnosis, mindfulness meditation, and yoga have been shown to be effective in controlling hot flashes and night sweats too.
1. “Woman Sitting on the Couch Wiping Her Sweat with Tissue” (CC0) via Pexels
2. “Symptoms of menopause (raster)” By Mikael Häggström – Own work (CC0) via Commons Wikimedia