Ah ‘the change' and it's oh so fun companion peri-menopause! I like to think of perimenopause as a warm up band for menopause that refuses to leave the stage. How long will it go on? Who the heck knows! It could be a few years it could be ten. Hang on while your hormone levels go up and down and your body reacts in ways it never even considered during adolescence. Hot flashes are new to me. I'm one of those folks who is always cold so waking up feeling like I'm an oven is totally new. That said, none of my
menopause symptoms have gotten so bad that I've considered hormones. These are some of the everyday solutions I've found in my quest to deal with hot flashes without popping a pill or experimenting on myself with creams and patches.
Hot Flash Central's Guide to Coping with Hot Flashes
I first noticed hot flashes a couple years back after too much red wine. For a while, I thought it was just the wine. Sigh. I love a good Pinot Noir or a berry bomb of a Zinfindel. Unfortunately, along with middle of the night hot flashes, the red wine hangovers got worse too. I've switched to white wine.
Hot Flash Solution #1: Try and figure out if you have food related triggers and avoid them.
In my case, the red vino had to go. It's been suggested to me that I try to European red wine to see how that works but so far limiting myself to one glass of red or just sticking to white wine and champagne has worked. Figure out if you have a food trigger and see if you can ditch it. This might not get rid of hot flashes permanently but it might make them less frequent.
Hot Flash Solution #2: Get a Cooling Pad
Sometimes I get Hot Flashes and haven't touched a drop. Sometimes I enjoy a nice glass of red and know I'll pay for it later. Fortunately, when I stagger into the kitchen in the middle of the night I know I have a cooling pad stashed in the fridge. I've attached a link to the one I got from Amazon above. I grab it from the fridge and lay down on it and can usually get right back to sleep. By morning it is body temperature but comfortable enough that I've selpt through. Insider tip: skip putting it in the freezer. The fridge is the best spot to cool it. The freezer makes this pad way too stiff and cold.
Hot Flash Solution #3: Get a Gel Ice Pack for Daytime/Office Hot Fashes
Don't want a whole bunch of your Millenial coworkers wondering why you are stripping down or frantically fanning yourself? Get a gel pack designed for your back and stash it in the office fridge or freezer. When a hot flash comes on go strap it on, cool down and claim your bad back is bothering you again.
Hot Flash Solution #4: Get a Headache Ice Hat
In addition to hot flashes I've gone from being someone that doesn't ever get headaches to someone who seems to be regularly stricken by ones that are so bad I can barely function. My answer to that (along with lots of ibuprofen) was this crazy headache hat with gel inserts. Think of it as a gel pack hat. I discovered it works wonderfully for stopping the flare of the hot flash cold. (Pun intended).
Hot Flash Solution #5: Get an Airconditioner for Your Bedroom
I live in a part of California where it seems ridiculous to have air conditioning. We have heat waves but they never last long. I suffered through 15 years of a couple heat waves a year without a/c no problem-o. This year was different. The combo of a heat wave and a run of several nights with hot flashes broke me. I ordered up this low profile window unit from Amazon and never looked back. Having a nice cool room to sleep in when my body feels like it is on fire is awesome. The white noise it creates helps me get a good nights sleep too.
I'll be honest while the air conditioner is great I still get all sorts of sweaty under the sheets. When I did a house swap with a friend she made me promise to try her BedJet. I'll concede I had BedJet envy. After my husband (a hot sleeper) thought it was amazing too. The airflow really kept both of us dry as our own temperature fluctuated up and down. The Bedjet's special night sweat management mode removes body moisture from the bed so you stay dry and comfortable.
Hot Flash Solution #7: Consider a ChiliPad
I haven't tried one of these but I have an elderly friend who swears by hers for the warming mode and mentions that she likes the cooling function during San Francisco's occasional heatwaves. She likes that it uses water in silicone tubing to circulate the warmth and the cool.
Hot Flash Solution #8: Rethink Your PJ's
I've found that I'm much better off in very light cotton that's breathable. Cotton voile is my new best friend at night. Nightshirts and nightgowns in this fabric breathe well and dry quickly if I do break a sweat.
Hot Flash Solution #9: Rethink Memory Foam Beds
These bad boys are hot and seem to retain the heat. We sleep on one when we visit my parents. Heat is the reason they moved this mattress to the guest bedroom and got a different one. Invariably my husband (the hot sleeper) considers opening a window even mid-winter. I seem to be doubly prone to hot flashes on these mattresses. They are comfy but don't really work if I'm waking up from the heat each night.
What are your Hot Flash solutions? Please share your tips in the comments so we can all stay cool!