Surrender to the feeling

Me asleep in bed, naked, my back turned to the camera
An older photo, but this pretty much is a sight you might see every night

In December 2019, I wrote how I have started using hormone replacement therapy again. For some or other reason, my hot flushes had disappeared for some time, only to return double-fold in the warm summer of 2019.

Ever since I started using HRT again, I seem to have the hot flushes under control.

During daytime.

At night they are being a bitch.

Nighttime sweats

We have a rather set bedtime routine, going upstairs at 9pm on nights when we have to work the next day, and going to sleep by 10.30pm. When we don’t have to work the next day, we tend to go to bed after midnight.

No matter what time we go to bed, I always sleep for 2-3 hours before I wake up for the first time, mostly to go to the bathroom. When I get back in bed, it starts.

Now I can’t sleep without something covering me, and that something can’t be only a sheet, as I then feel cold. I need a bit of ‘weight’ on top of me, even if it’s only a thin duvet. When I get back into bed after my bathroom run, I pull the covers over me, and within five minutes I kick them off.

It seems to start everywhere. My feet get warm. My head gets warm. My back, my bottom, my thighs, my tummy, my chest, everything. Then my heart starts beating faster, so fast, that I can feel it high in my chest, and with that, I also notice my breathing. Hard and fast, high in my chest. It’s almost the same as when I have a panic attack, except these don’t make me feel like I am having a heart attack. They just make me feel… well… meh. Sometimes all of this is followed by sweating, but thankfully that doesn’t always happen.

This goes on through the night. Sometimes I fall asleep and half an hour later I am awake again, and the whole things repeats itself. Sometimes I sleep for an hour, sometimes two, but I wake up like this several times at night. Sometimes I only wake up when the sweating starts.

Breathe, just breathe

When these nighttime episodes started, the irritated me. Annoyed me. I hated that they stole my sleep. I thought if I could get my breathing under control, I might be able to sleep again, so I read up on how I could stop hyperventilation. I lay there in bed, in the midst of the night, concentrating so hard on my breathing, to get it under control. Breath in through my nose, hold for four counts, breathe out through my mouth, counting to eight. Or something like that.

I ended up concentrating so much on my breathing and trying to get it to calm down, that I kept myself awake for longer. Also, most night I found it difficult to breathe out through my mouth, after breathing in through my nose. It was as if there was… er… some kind of ‘block’? Yes, I know… strange. But my reality.

Surrender!

I decided to take a different approach. Instead of getting irritated or annoyed, of concentrating on my breathing, I decided to surrender.

Surrender to the feeling.

Accept that menopause is part of who I am now. That some transitioning is happening in my body, and its trying to find a balance with the different hormone levels.

Now when I come back from the bathroom, I still pull the covers over me, attempt to fall asleep and when that warm feeling starts spreading through my body, I push the covers off, keep calm and attempt to fall asleep while it happens. I still notice my heartbeat, and accept it. I still notice my breathing, and accept it. I still notice the sweating when it happens, and accept it.

I surrender.

To me, this is all that helps. If I fight the feeling in any way, or allow it to irritate me, it only makes it worse.

So, from the moment I had my nightly bathroom run (I promise, I walk, don’t run), the rest of my night is filled with slipping in under the covers, then pushing them off. Repeat. I still have broken sleep, but I seem to fall back to sleep more easily than before, because I just accept what is happening to my body.

This works for me, and something different might work for you, and if it does, I would love to hear about it!

Thankful

One thing I am really thankful for is that I don’t have daytime sweats anymore. The tablets I take — pregnenalone — really helps to keep the daytime hot flushes under control, and to be honest, I will much rather be hot and sweaty in bed, than when I am in the office!

© Rebel’s Notes

Wicked Wednesday
The Menopause Diaries

16 thoughts on “Surrender to the feeling

  1. When I read your descriptions of this I instantly thought about an anxiety attack and while you say it isn’t (which is good!) it sounds like such a negative thing to experience during the night regardless as it takes away your ability to rest at night. If we’re all going to go through menopause lol, I can not say that I’m definitely not looking forward to it but I suppose I have many years to mentally prepare. I’m glad that you found a way to surrender and make it slightly better that way. Let’s hope menopause passes soon!

    1. You have some years to go before you get to this point, and hopefully it won’t be as bad for you. I am just glad I have learned to just let that feeling wash over me, instead of fighting it. And yes, I too hope it passes soon!

  2. I am lucky as I don’t suffer the day time flushes or sweats at all but I do get the night time ones. And like you I have learned to push the cover off and surrender – and hope to fall back to sleep. It is a lottery really. But there is not point fighting them
    xx

  3. I can’t even imagine that feeling. Panic yes but that is something totally different. I am glad you have found a way to deal with it, I hope it helps

  4. Firstly I love this picture of you – your curves look really sexy.

    I also have night sweats although I think not as bad as yours. They say I am not premenopausal yet so I am not sure really what to make of that. I think there is a lot to be said for surrendering to the feelings – sounds like a bit of a submissive headspace being used there lol. Hopefully they will improve and lessen and with any luck your panic attacks will start to decrease now too ?

    1. Thank you, Missy. It’s an older pic, but I still like it a lot, and it fit this piece.
      I hope your night sweats stay as they are now, and don’t get worse when you do hit menopause. I know it’s not as bad for everyone 🙂
      I guess by surrendering to the feelings, I am indeed using my submissive headspace some. I do hope things improve, and that my night sweats will be only because of menopause, and not because of panic attacks too.

  5. My Queen has hot flashes and then a moment afterwards she’ll be cold. Covers off and then back on. We have two fans running over our bed. That helps a little. I see that lovely vision you posted almost every night—if I am awake. And I usually wake up because when she throws the covers off of herself, she tends to uncover my upper body and double cover my lower body. So suddenly the fans are cooling me quickly and I wake up. Or she has completely covered me with the duvet twice and I wake up hot. So I find her menopause something of a shared experience.

    1. This made me smile… it’s almost like you are in menopause too. About two years ago we changed our bedroom, and in came a new bed. One bed, but with two mattresses, two sets of single duvets, etc. This really helps, so when I am hot and bothered at night, I don’t wake Master T, and equally so, when he is restless, he doesn’t wake me. Although I do wake some mornings and my duvet is partially covering him too! Strangely enough, when the weather outside is colder, I can sometimes get so cold that I need an extra blanket to cover me at night. It seems I sometimes suffer from cold flushes too. I never knew it was a thing, until I looked it up.

  6. It blows my mind how much our bodies rage against us, but your strategy just might calm that savage beast. It might not expect that sort of submission.

    (I kind of like the idea of surrendering to my own body.)

    1. You know, seeing it as a kind of submission, that might just be the trick to really calm myself down, to accept the night sweats, whether they come from menopause or panic. Like you, I like the idea of surrendering to my own body 🙂

  7. I know this wasn’t the point of the post but that picture is beautiful ?. I truly hope that your emotional well being improves soon and that you continue to look after yourself and what is most important to you.

    1. Thank you, PS. The image is an older one, but still one I am very proud of 🙂
      Also thank you for your kind words.

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