A cold flash at night is an abrupt feeling of cold when a person usually is asleep. It is often accompanied with shivering and chill. This symptom may last for few minutes and recede on its own. However, such episodes of cold flash may occur frequently at night disturbing the sleep.
Cold flashes at night are quiet embarrassing. They are not natural reaction of the body to the cool atmospheric temperature. Often cold and hot flashes alternate in people. Women are the most vulnerable during their menopausal age. However, some men also complain of the same.The underlying cause in majority is an imbalance or fluctuation in body hormones.
What Causes Cold Flashes At Night?
Cold flash at night is a sudden feeling of severe cold which is often accompanied with shivering. Cold and hot flashes often result from changes in the inner system of the body. It is common in women approaching their menopause. Menopause is a natural biological process of cessation of menses. It usually takes place in mid forties among women. The regulatory mechanism of body temperature is governed by brain. During menopause there is extreme fluctuation of estrogen in some women.Estrogen is an important reproductive hormone in females.
When there is sudden decline or surge of this hormone during this phase of life, the brain senses it immediately and reacts by activating the temperature controlling center in the hypothalamus, a part of brain. This in turn rises or lowers the body temperature leading to a feeling of sudden heat or cold. The same feeling may be experienced by young women during or before their menstrual period.
Women during their pregnancy also experience cold flashes due to hormonal disturbance. Cold flashes at night may also be accompanied with other symptoms of menopause such as mood swings, hair thinning, fatigue, disturbing sleep etc.
Aside from menopause as the major cause of cold flashes, it may also occur after a brain injury. Since brain regulates the body temperature mechanism, any damage to the area controlling body temperature can cause cold or hot flashes. Certain medical conditions such as diarrhea, urinary tract infection, pneumonia, HIV, anxiety and panic attacks may also produce this symptom. People suffering from anemia or nightly fluctuation in blood sugar level also experience cold flashes.
Symptoms Accompanied With Cold Flashes
A cold flash is itself a symptom of an underlying condition. There are varied other symptoms that may be accompany cold flashes at night.
- Cold sweats
- Feeling of restlessness.
- Sudden waking up in night.
- Difficulty in sleeping once the person gets awake from cold flash.
Home Remedies To Get Rid Of Cold Flashes
Cold flashes at night time may be too discomforting and bothersome as it often disturbs a person’s sleep. If a woman feels cold flashes is causing too much problem in her nightly sleep, she can try certain remedial measures some of which are simple natural treatment.
Some women suffering from this problem during their menopausal period may feel better after taking hormone replacement therapy. Here low doses of estrogen are prescribed by the physician so that the body is able to regulate the temperature mechanism. If the underlying cause is panic attack or severe anxiety patient may need antidepressant.
A well balanced diet, exercising daily, avoiding smoking and alcohol, consuming enough water, drinking tea and coffee in limitation, will help to reduce the symptom.
People have also benefited by other complimentary therapies such as acupressure, acupuncture, yoga, homeopathy etc. Herbal tea prepared from ginseng root or rose marry is useful in relieving cold flashes during night.