I have a confession to make: I haven’t slept naked in the last year. Maybe more than a year. I have tried, but somehow I just couldn’t. No matter what the weather was outside, whether cold or warm, I had to wear a pajama of some sorts.
If I look back on the years before that, I could sleep naked all year long. During summer we used our summer duvet cover and in winter I had a flannel duvet cover which is nice and warm. I came to a point where in summer I longed for the flannel cover because I seemed to have lost the ability to warm up. Or rather, my body seemed to have lost the ability. This past winter there were nights when it was so bad that I lay in bed with pajama bottoms, a long-sleeved pajama top and socks and had to have an extra fleece blanket over me only to start to get warm. I lay in bed shivering with cold. This was not in the time when it was really cold or snowing outside, but with temperatures close to zero degrees Celsius. The flannel cover and my pajama should have been enough, but it wasn’t.
Many times I wondered why I couldn’t get warm. Then an idea started forming…
Now we have all heard about women having hot flashes during the menopause, and those are really terrible as you cannot seem to get rid of the heat in your body. It comes from everywhere and your entire body seems to glow with the heat coming from somewhere inside. I have mentioned before that I was taking tablets to get the hot flashes under control, and it worked. So maybe they were now working too well or I didn’t need them anymore?
I checked Dr. Google and discovered: cold flashes!
It really is a thing. Where 80% of women in the menopause suffer from hot flashes, some also suffer from cold flashes.
A cold flash, often called the chills, is a sudden feeling of intense cold, usually accompanied with shivering. The difference between cold and shivering as a reaction to weather as opposed to a medical condition is the unexpected situation in which it happens. The brain monitors and regulates the body’s temperature, according to the University of Illinois Medical Center, and when something throws it off balance, such as menopause, chemicals will travel through the bloodstream, causing the brain to raise the normal temperature set point. This causes you to feel cold and shiver to help your body’s temperature rise to meet the new set point.
I can sit here, in our lounge, and Master T and the kids will be totally okay, while I sit here with a thick jersey and a scarf because I am cold. I can get into bed, naked (because I still try every now and then) and I can feel perfectly warm and then, after half an hour or an hour I am still awake and starting to shiver because my body cannot seem to keep the warmth I initially felt.
The same things lifestyle changes you can do to help with hot flashes, can also help with cold flashes:
- Reduce stress and anxiety. Calm down, using a combination of deep breathing and meditation.
- Avoid the usual triggers like sugar, caffeine, alcohol, spicy foods, nicotine.
- Plan for it by wearing layers of clothing.
- Move it by exercising or just moving around during a cold flash, as this gets the blood flowing to your hands and feet again.
You know, looking at those points, I see the things I do, the things I need to do and the things I want to do. I do the breathing thing, but I don’t move around when I have a cold flash. I don’t avoid coffee and alcohol, but if I get back to the LCHF thing I will have much less of those than I do now. I always wear layers of clothing. I wear only dresses and I don’t own one dress with long sleeves, because I always wear cardigans so I can take them off and be with bare arms to cool down when I am too hot. As for reducing stress and anxiety, I have started looking around in our area to go to yoga class. Not only for the reducing-stress-part, but also to get some kind of fitness in my body again. I am totally unfit and want to change some of that.
Every night I go to bed, wearing my pajama and socks and every night roundabout 3am I wake up to go to the loo. By then I am hot, too hot and I take everything off and get back in bed, naked. I can sleep naked the rest of the night. This is a win, as it hasn’t been like this about three months ago.
In the meantime, I have also stopped with the HRT because I don’t have as many hot flashes during the day as I had before. I might start with it again if the hot flashes get more, but it’s been two weeks now and going okay. One thing I do notice, but I noticed this before I stopped with the HRT, is that my body has definitely lost it’s ability to properly regulate its temperature. I can feel cold on my arms and legs, to the point of shivering, while my body is sweating because I am too hot. What I do during a moment like this is to ignore it as best as possible, breathe and carry on with what I am doing. Sometimes, it works…
© Rebel’s Notes
The A to Z Blogging Challenge
The Letter R
In this fifth year of participating in the A to Z Blogging Challenge, I am taking words from my regular post starting with the letter of the day, and looking at the meaning of those words. Today is for words starting with ‘R’ and I have chosen to look at ‘rather’, ‘reaction’ & ‘regulate’.
If you want to express your preference in a particular matter, you use ‘rather’, like, “I would rather have wine.” The word is also used to indicate ‘to a certain or significant degree’, for instance: “She’s drinking rather much.”
When you feel, do, say or think something in response to something you have heard, seen or done, it’s called a reaction. You can also have a reaction to medicine, like when you are allerhic to one of the ingredients.
When something is regulated, the rate or speed is controlled or maintained to make sure it operates properly. You can also use ‘regulate’ to replace: control something by means of rules and regulations, for example: The Code regulates the takeovers of companies.”
© Rebel’s Notes