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Experiencing cold at night can negatively interrupt getting restful sleep. It may make you toss and turn for hours, or reach for the nearest pile of extra blankets. This issue can even interrupt a partner’s sleep if you tend to be a blanket thief. There are many reasons you may be feeling cold while you sleep. Some aren’t so big a deal, but a medical issue may need addressed. This article will explain some of the common causes, tips on dealing with it, and when you should see your doctor.
Why Are You Feeling Cold at Night?
While feeling cold may be a simple case of turning up the heat or throwing on an extra blanket, a few medical conditions may also cause this to happen. Here is a list of common causes:
Your thyroid hormone levels may be low. The thyroid is part of your body’s metabolism and temperature regulation system. When thyroid levels are low, you don’t have enough energy to heat yourself up. Low thyroid hormone can cause a range of other symptoms, including dry, brittle thinning hair and nails, weight gain, fatigue and muscle weakness, blurred vision, feeling cold even when it is hot, constipation and dry skin. This should be addressed by your doctor.
Anemia occurs when the body’s iron and red blood cell stores are too low. Iron helps the red blood cells reproduce and carry oxygen and nutrients to the rest of the body. It’s more likely to occur in pregnant women, girls in their teens, and infants who do not take iron fortified formula. Adults can become anemic due to blood loss or poor diet.
Feeling cold at night and at other times is one of the early symptoms.Other symptoms includefeeling weak, loss of appetite, pale skin, shortness of breath, chest pain, irregular heartbeat and headaches.
3. Low Body Weight
If you are underweight, you may not have enough body fat to hold heat in your body. The body temperature naturally drops at night when you sleep and you need some insulation to keep you warm. Low body weight is generally a BMI under 18.5. Also, not enough food intake turns your metabolism down so you don’t create energy, which creates heat in the body.
You may have other signs that your body weight is too low, including loss of appetite, absence of menstrual periods, constipation, dry hair, easy bruising, slower heart rate, dizziness and depression.
4. Lack of Sleep
As unbelievable as it may sound, not enough sleep can leave you feeling cold at night. This is because your body needs enough rest to keep up the metabolism that creates heat. If you are just too worn out, your body temperature will drop to conserve energy and get the rest it needs.
Other symptomsincludedrowsiness, lack of concentration during the day, trouble remembering, daytime sleepiness, increased appetite, weight gain, irritability, and poor impulse control.
5. Circulatory Issues
When blood vessels constrict the blood flow is less to your body. Blood helps to maintain our body temperature. If blood flow is cut off to your body, you may feel cold. Certain things you do before bed may constrict your blood vessels like smoking, swimming in cold water, drinking caffeine, eating sugar, and certain medications. If you suffer from an autoimmune disorder, you may also be suffering from Raynaud’s phenomenon. This condition can cause blood vessels to constrict suddenly with temperature changes.
Other symptomsincludeblue color to the hands and feet, dizziness, tingling sensations, increase in blood pressure, headaches and cramping in the muscles.
6. Low Muscle Mass
Muscles help to create energy and keep the heat inside your body. Low muscle mass can decrease metabolism and leave you shivering at night or in cold temperatures while awake. Other symptoms includeweakness, slow reflexes, poor posture and looser joints.
7. Not Enough Fluids
If you are dehydrated and do not drink enough fluids, you may find yourself feeling cold at night. This is because you need to bulk up your blood volume to feel warm. Drinking cool water also increases your metabolism creating energy that raises your body temperature. Other symptoms includeheadache, lack of sweating, dry skin, dry eyes and mouth, feeling extremely thirsty, increased hunger and dizziness.
Is There Anything You Can Do to Treat/Prevent It?
There are some things you can do to help prevent and keep yourself from night coldness.
- Get enough fluids during the day.
- Eat healthy fats to increase body fat such as avocado, olive oil, and snack on nuts.
- Do muscle building exercise and increase protein in your diet.
- Go to bed at the same time every night and get 6 to 8 hours of sleep.
- Eat foods rich in iron such as spinach, lean red meats, blackstrap molasses, and iron rich cereals.
- Take a vitamin B12 supplement to help prevent anemia.
- Wear fleece and quality cotton pajamas with socks.
- Invest in an electric blanket.
- Do some gentle stretching before bed. Stretching the muscles increases heat.
- Try a warm cup of non-caffeinated beverage before bed such as chamomile tea, and warm milk.
- Try switching to flannel sheets. They are thicker than cotton and keep heat in.
Some conditions may require evaluation and treatment by your doctor. Anemia can get serious as well as thyroid disease. You may need to start taking supplements and/or medications under a doctor’s supervision to bring these conditions under control. If you are feeling cold at night for longer than a few weeks and the above tips do not help, you need to get in touch with your doctor.
Things that may make this serious include:
- Feeling cold suddenly
- Sudden onset of dizziness and feeling cold
- Feeling cold with chills and high fever
- Feeling dehydrated and not relieved with fluids
- Fainting and feeling cold
- Feeling cold with chest pain
- Numbness and cold feeling to your hands, legs, and/or feet on one side of the body
If you or someone you love feels suddenly cold at night with low or loss of consciousness, call for emergency medical help right away.
Alcoholism Support Group
Alcoholism is the continued consumption of alcoholic beverages, even when it is negatively affecting your health, work, relationships and life. If you think alcohol is causing you to lose control, it’s time to seek help. Our group is a safe place to vent, check in, get back up if you fall, and reach sobriety.
Paranoid & shaky after drinking – HELP!
Let me start off by saying that whenever I drink, I go all out and binge.
I started drinking junior year of college and would binge drink 3 nights a week. Senior year of college I would binge drink 4-5 nights a week. Then, the summer after graduating undergraduate, I would binge drink 7 nights a week. During my 2 years of grad school I would binge drink 6-7 nights a week. I cut back a little after that and kept it to binging 3-4 nights a week because I started working. However, last October, something really bad happened.
My birthday fell on a Sunday so I was drank during all the weekday nights leading up to it. I drank particularly hard on the Friday of that weekend and then didn’t sleep on Friday night. I started drinking again Saturday after dinner and drank heavy until about 3:30 AM. I woke up at 8 am Sunday and my friend had given me a huge bottle of Captain Morgan’s rum for my birthday. I started drinking really strong rum and cokes and continued drinking them all through the day..I was already really drunk by mid-morning but I continued on all through the day. We went to a bar at around 8 pm and I was dancing and doing shots..I ended up puking. I saw a flier about an afterparty that started at midnight and went til 8 am. I went to this afterparty after the bar was closed and continued to drink and dance. I finally stumbled home at 7:30 or so, only to puke a lot more and have a lot of diahrrea. I tried to sleep but I felt incredibly jumpy and like my heart was beating slowly and my breathing was shallow. I felt completely disoriented. Waves of panic kept sweeping through me and I felt incredibly uncomfortable. I tried to go drink some water and I felt like I was going to fall over. The glass of water would tremble in my hand when I would try to drink it. I also had trouble forming sentences and thinking. The waves of panic were getting very strange and numbness/tingling started sweeping through my arms and legs..even through my face. My heartbeats just felt incredibly weird and I was absolutely terrified. I tried laying back in bed but I was just totally restless and scared. I finally had to call 911. The ambulance took me to the hospital where they told me I would have a 5 hour wait. So I decided to take a cab back home. The symptoms persisted all through the night and I couldn’t really sleep. I went to the doctor the next day and as soon as he saw me, he called 911 immediately. My arms were shaking involuntarily and I was still having trouble forming sentences. At the hospital they gave me medication to reduce the shaking and anxiety. However, that is about all they did. They kept me overnight and then released me the next day..just making sure my blood pressure was ok.
Ever since that weekend (it has been about 9 months since then), I have been having a whole host of symptoms on a weekly basis that I think are related to drinking. Since that weekend, I foolishly still drink 2 weekdays out of the week as well as very heavily on Fridays and Saturdays. For 3-4 days after I stop drinking, I get real bad paranoia. I am not paranoid about anything in particular. it is more like an altered psychological state where I kind of bug out a little when people look at me and I have a very heightened awareness. I also am extremely anxious and prone to panicking and freaking out (between the hyper awareness, paranoia, and hyper anxiety). Additionally, I get these really uncomfortable feelings through my arms and legs which feels like internal shakiness. almost like I have just ran a lot and lifted a lot of weights or something and now I just have this internal energy flowing through my limbs. These feelings also last 3-4 days and then start to subside a little (although I have not given enough time of abstinence — no more than a week — to see if these symptoms will go away). Since I continuously binge heavily on the weekends, I always feel these feelings. I also wake up multiple times through the night and have really vivid nightmares every night that usually involve violence or death. Other symptoms include pins and needles (tingling) through my face which can spread to my neck, chest, arms, and legs. My vision also seems shaky at times..like kind of blurry. it also seems like there some vibration in my field of view at times and also something like spotting seems to occur. I also get dilated pupils and jaw clenching sometimes. My body feels very week and shaky overall. The worst symptoms to deal with are the paranoia (it is hard to interact with groups of people at work or be in public when I have this) and the lightning feeling that flows through my arms and legs (what is this?).
After a big fight with my girlfriend recently due to drinking, the fact that my finances were getting very low due to spending so much on alcohol, and a big health kick I have been on recently, I have decided to completely give up drinking. The short term fun is giving me terrible physiological and psychological symptoms, ruining my finances, and destroying my health.
My questions to everyone are:
1. Have you heard of these terrible physiological/psychological symptoms happening from alcohol withdrawal? (the severity of the symptoms correlates to the intensity of the drinking episodes as well as to the number of successive days of heavy drinking)
2. How long realistically will I have to wait before these symptoms subside and I start feeling normal again?
3. How long before my digestive system overcomes the malabsorption problem that is brought on by alcohol?
4. If I take a few months off, do you think I will be able to drink once a week or once every two weeks in moderation without these symptoms coming back?
5. How could that one weekend have so radically changed my physiological and psychological experiences for the future?
6. Any other comments or advice?
I apologize for the length of this post but I have been suffering since last October on a daily basis with these symptoms (my own fault) and I would like some insight and/or feedback.
What you should (and shouldn’t!) do after a massage treatment.
So, you’ve had your massage, you’re feeling nice and relaxed…you know, that muscles melting off your bones feeling. You know your massage therapist was talking to you at the end of the treatment, but you were feeling too sleepy to really take it in. So what to do now? I mean, you had a massage for a reason right? It could have been to relax, de-stress and have some ‘me’ time. Perhaps it was because you’ve had some nasty tight spots that needed an ease off. Maybe you had an injury and you were looking for a way to help speed your recovery. You could even be one of those people, who is so tuned into what your body needs, that you are having regular maintenance treatments — giving your body a regular ‘tune up’. Whatever the reason, you want to make sure the benefits are going to last as long as possible don’t you? You don’t want to lose that lovey, relaxed feeling right away do you? Here are some tips and tricks for getting the most out of your massage session.
I can’t stress this one enough. We know that a very large percentage of our body is made up of water (between 50-75%…around 60% on average for an adult). We also know that getting a massage can help flush some of the toxins out of our bodies. So what’s the link I hear you ask? Water is what helps the body to flush out these toxins. Massage helps to increase the circulation of both the blood and the lymphatic system. Your blood needs water in it to keep it moving and doing its job of bringing oxygen and nutrients to your muscles, organs and other tissues. It also helps to take away the waste products created by the cells in these areas. While your lymphatic system is responsible for maintaining your immune system, it also helps in the removal of toxins. It serves as the fluid transport system between the cells and the bloodstream. Without adequate water, the lymph system becomes sluggish and doesn’t do its job properly. This can lead to low immunity as well as aches, pains and fatigue from the build-up of these toxins. It can be common to need to go to the toilet frequently after a massage, this is because the increase in lymph circulation is helping your body to get rid of any toxic build-up. So that’s a good thing. But it also means that you’re losing water every time you go and pee…so you need to replace it in your body to keep the cycle going. When I say you should drink water after a massage, I also mean you should increase the amount you would normally drink. Adding an extra glass or two will help your body to get rid of all the nasties and keep you feeling better for longer.
Also keep in mind that the water content of a cup of tea, coffee, soft drink or alcoholic beverage isn’t the same as adding that extra glass of water. In fact, after a massage I would recommend you avoid these things. Alcohol and caffeine are diuretics. Basically this means that you lose more fluid than you gain when you drink it. So instead of helping to flush out toxins, fluids with these in them will pass through the system more quickly than water, and won’t actually help the lymph and circulatory system at all. In fact, because they stop the body from absorbing water effectively, it will do the opposite and your body will struggle to get rid of the toxins.
Yup, have a snack on hand to have after your massage. Because massage speeds up your circulatory systems, other body functions can also be increased — this includes your digestive system. Have you even felt light headed after a massage? This could be because your body needs a fuel boost. Of course it could be because you’re dehydrated, you’re half asleep, or you have low blood pressure (and keep in mind your blood pressure will drop during a massage as the body becomes more relaxed). But needing an energy boost from a snack is up there on the list.
However, I don’t recommend you have a large meal right before a massage to combat this though. Mainly because it will likely be uncomfortable — lying on a very full tummy while someone is pressing on you from above doesn’t sound like fun to me! Again, a light snack, an hour or so before your massage, can help too. If you tend to get light headed, or feel ravenously hungry after (or even during) a treatment, this could be worth trying.
So, you’ve just taken some time out. You feel more relaxed, your muscles are looser, you feel calm and content. Heading to work, or out for a night on the town, are both not the best options for you right now. While sometimes it’s unavoidable, try to book your massage for a time when you know you can go straight home after it. Put your feet up, read a book, watch some TV, have a nap…whatever helps you to continue to feel good and helps to prolong that calm feeling of wellbeing. Listen to your body. If you feel like having a sleep — do it. If you want to stretch out on the couch — go for it. Your muscles have just been worked and manipulated, similar to an intense work out — this is your time to recover, repair and retune yourself.
I also recommend not to do any intense physical activity after a massage. Heading to the gym, or going for run are not the best options for you right now. Remember, your muscles have just been given a workout (especially if you’ve had deep tissue work), and need time to recover. With the muscles being lengthened and worked, you run the risk of injury if you then go on to do an intense workout. Even more important, you’ve just taken time out to pamper your body…make sure you give yourself the chance to enjoy that feeling. You can go back to your training regimen the next day.
Have a bath.
What could be better than that feeling of sinking into a nice warm bath? I’ll tell you — sinking into a nice warm bath after a massage! This can help with the above advice of rest, take a little more time out and allow your body to relax completely. Adding some Epsom salts (magnesium sulphate) to the bath will also help with easing any aches and pains. The magnesium in the Epsom salts will absorb through skin, while the warm water helps to open your blood vessels, therefore helping to increase circulation. You can find Epson salts in most super markets and chemists, and they tend to be reasonably priced. If you haven’t got any, a warm bath on its own will still work wonders — and if you don’t have a bath, a warm shower can be just as good. Keep in mind the word warm is important here — a scorching hot bath will increase inflammation, which isn’t a good idea after a massage.
If you are having trouble with inflammation (including swelling), you should ice the area instead. Using a cold pack (wrapped in cloth) apply to the swollen or inflamed area for ten minutes, then take it off for ten minutes. The cold should help to reduce the inflammation pain by numbing the area. You can repeat this process, but be sure to give the area those breaks in between. The cold will constrict the blood vessels which helps to reduce the blood flow (and therefore swelling) to the area. If you simply leave the cold pack on for a long period of time, the body will try to counter-act the effects of the cold by opening up the blood vessels to encourage blood flow — the opposite of what we’re trying to achieve.
Welcome any emotions.
Both during and after a massage you might feel any number of emotions. As the body relaxes, it is normal for the body to also release the emotional baggage we are holding on to. While you might feel elated, refreshed or energised, there may be times when you feel a need to cry. This is okay, and it’s even normal. Prolonged stress does crazy things to our bodies, including our hormones, and this manifests in our emotions. Massage helps the parasympathetic nervous system to kick in. This helps to reduce levels of the stress hormones (adrenaline and cortisol) and increases levels of dopamine and serotonin. The feel good hormone oxytocin is also released during massage because of the skin-to-skin contact — which is the one responsible for that happy, light, warm and fuzzy feeling (also known as the ‘hugging’ or ‘love’ hormone) and is even released into the air, helping to give a mood lift to those around you (no wonder I love my job!). But this can still leave us wanting a good cry, and it’s because once the stress barriers have come down, we now feel safe to stop and allow ourselves to release the emotions we’ve been holding on to (sometimes we don’t even know we’re holding on to them!) It’s actually a good thing, and can leave you feeling much better afterwards — we all need a good cry now and then. Don’t fight it, just allow it to happen.
Notice your body’s reaction
Have you ever left a massage feeling a little sore in your muscles? Or perhaps you’ve noticed it the next day? This is also normal — it’s most common after a deep tissue massage, but can happen after a more gentle massage as well. Remember that through massage we are working the muscles, so it’s like a passive form of exercise. As well as this, when muscles get overly tight, they can constrict the blood vessels in the area. Over time, this stops the circulatory system from effectively flushing out the waste in that area and you can get a build-up, which causes soreness. When releasing this tension, the blood can start flushing out those toxins, but it can leave you feeling a bit tender, like you’ve just had a workout (which, in essence, you have). If you have regular massage, you might find this decreases over time, however it does depend on what you do between visits or how often you get a massage. This soreness should not be too severe — more like the ache after a big exercise session. And it shouldn’t last more than a day or two. If it does last longer, this is can be an indication that the massage therapist might have worked the muscles a little too hard. It is important to tell your massage therapist at your next session if anything was particularly painful so that the treatment can be modified next time. Remember that massage therapists aren’t mind readers — but with adequate feedback from you, your therapist should be able to tailor the massage to your needs.
Each of these little things can help you to get the best out of each treatment. More importantly, it can help you to keep the benefits going for longer — and we all like value for money right? The final thing to remember, is to talk to your therapist if you need to. If you have a question, a query or a concern, let them know. If something new has happened with your health or your body — whether it’s good or bad, your massage therapist needs to know so that they can give you the best possible treatment and help you get the most out of it you can!
Find out more about what Susan does at Mind Body Continuum