The main difference between hot flashes and night sweats is that hot flashes are the sudden feelings of intense body heat whereas night sweats are periods of heavy sweating associated with hot flashes. Furthermore, hot flashes can occur during night or day while night sweats occur during the night.
Hot flashes and night sweats are two types of uncomfortable symptoms associated with menopause and perimenopause stages of around 75% of women.
Key Areas Covered
1. What are Hot Flashes
– Definition, Features, Importance
2. What are Night Sweats
– Definition, Features, Importance
3. What are the Similarities Between Hot Flashes and Night Sweats
– Outline of Common Features
4. What is the Difference Between Hot Flashes and Night Sweats
– Comparison of Key Differences
Duration, Estrogen, Hormone Levels, Hot Flashes, Menopause, Night Sweats
What are Hot Flashes
Hot flashes are one of the most frustrating symptoms of menopause, causing irritating surges of heat. They occur a few years before, during, and after menopause. The fluctuation of the hormone levels associated with menopause causes hot flashes. The decline in the functioning of ovaries results in the production of fluctuating levels of estrogen and progesterone. After menopause, ovaries stop the production of these hormones, but tissues of the body still produce these hormones. The diminished amount of estrogen in the body is recognized by the hypothalamus and the brain takes the situation as misperception, relaying an alert to cool off. Then, the heart pumps faster, blood vessels are dilated, and sweat glands are activated, reducing the body temperature by 1 °C.
However, this feeling lasts only for a moment. The two main characteristic features are the sudden redness of the face and neck and profuse sudden sweating.
What are Night Sweats
Night sweats are another type of discomforting symptoms of menopause, occurring during sleeping. Therefore, it does not necessarily mean that night sweats occur during the night. However, they are very uncomfortable and can disturb sleep. The main characteristic feature of night sweats is that they last a long time than hot flashes. One can suddenly feel hot while sleeping and the sweating starts profusely. Also, night sweats are sometimes associated with hot flashes.
Moreover, in addition to menopause, some other factors such as infections, idiopathic hyperhidrosis, hypoglycemia, hormone disorders, neurological conditions, and cancer can also cause night sweats.
Similarities Between Hot Flashes and Night Sweats
- Hot flashes and night sweats are two types of uncomfortable symptoms that can occur in women in menopause and perimenopause stages.
- Also, both make you feel uncontrollably hot.
- Medication, herbal supplements, etc. can help to relieve these symptoms.
Difference Between Hot Flashes and Night Sweats
Hot flashes refer to a sudden feeling of feverish heat, typically as a symptom of menopause, while night sweats refer to the occurrence of excessive sweating during sleep. Thus, this is the main difference between hot flashes and night sweats.
Furthermore, an important difference between hot flashes and night sweats is that hot flashes are the heating sensation in the upper body while night sweats profuse perspiration at the back of the head and chest.
Another difference between hot flashes and night sweats is that hot flashes occur at any time of the day while night sweats occur in the night.
Besides, hot flashes last only for a moment while night sweats last longer up to 10 minutes.
Moreover, hot flashes may result in anxiety and heart palpitations while night sweats may result in insomnia. Hence, this is another difference between hot flashes and night sweats.
Hormonal therapy can be a treatment for hot flashes while avoidance of heat producing materials or food may reduce the occurrence of night sweats.
Hot flashes are uncomfortable symptoms of menopause. They are characterized by the sudden feeling of intense body heat, mainly in the upper body. However, they last only for a short period of time. In contrast, night sweats are another uncomfortable feeling associated with menopause characterized by the profuse perspiration at the back of the head and chest. Generally, night sweats last longer than hot flashes. Hence, the main difference between hot flashes and night sweats is the type of feeling and the duration.
1. Suszynski, Marie. “Hot Flashes, Menopause, and Sweating.” WebMD, WebMD, Available Here.
1. “Estradiol” By NEUROtiker – Own work (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “Symptoms of menopause (vector” By Mikael Häggström – Own work (CC0) via Commons Wikimedia
Leave a Reply