If you are experiencing hot flashes and night sweats due to menopause, then the high temperatures associated with the summer season may not be welcome. There’s nothing you can do about the weather, but you can try the following things to keep cool.
1. Wear Cool Clothes
If you’re dealing with hot flashes and night sweats, wearing lightweight and breathable fabric is advisable. Avoid fabrics that contain polyester or other synthetic components that are known to create or trap heat. Opt for natural and airy fabrics like cotton and linen. Luckily, these materials are completely appropriate and fashionable during the summer months. It is also a good idea to wear layers of light clothes even in the summer so you can adjust how much coverage your clothing gives you when your temperature fluctuates.
2. Choose Cool Bedding
Pay attention to your bedding and what materials are used. Cotton sheets are pretty standard and can be lightweight and cool, but there is other bedding you can consider that can help cool you and regulate your temperatures. There are mattress pads and pillows available that are filled with cooling gels that can help with night sweats. You might also want to look into bedding made with bamboo or eucalyptus, as those materials have been known to regulate temperature and stay cooler than cotton.
3. Get a Bedside Fan
If you turn down the air in order to stay cool in bed but you still experience night sweats, try getting a bedside fan. There are many options that are not costly and they can provide more direct relief when placed nearby to circulate the cool air.
4. Take a Cool Shower
Some women find relief from hot flashes and night sweats by taking cool showers. If you are able, try to take a cool shower during the day when you are feeling hot. Then, cool off in the shower again before you get into bed to try and curb night sweats.
5. Run Cool Water Over Your Wrists
If you don’t have access to a full shower, then you try to cool off by running cold water over the insides of your wrists. The theory behind this is that there are many blood vessels in that location and cooling them off may cool you down quickly.
6. Stay In Air-Conditioned Spaces
During summer months when it is hot and humid outside, it might be best to limit your time outdoors if you are dealing with hot flashes and night sweats. During hot flashes, stick to air-conditioned spaces like your house. To avoid night sweats, you can turn down the temperature several degrees before you go to bed.
7. Avoid Trigger Foods & Drinks
Sometimes hot flashes may be triggered or made worse by the things we eat or drink. Avoiding hot beverages, alcohol, caffeine, and spicy foods may reduce hot flashes. If you do consume these things, pay attention to how you feel afterward and make notes about which things seem to cause hot flashes.
8. Stop Smoking
Smoking may trigger hot flashes. A study in Obstetrics and Gynecology found that cigarette smoking may be associated with hot flashes because of the effect it has on your hormones. Plus, it’s bad for so many aspects of your health that it’s worth giving up even if you only find minimal relief from hot flashes.
9. Maintain a Healthy Weight
According to the National Institute on Aging (NIA), women who are overweight or obese may experience more hot flashes than women at a healthy weight. If you need help losing weight or maintaining a healthy weight through diet and exercise, ask your doctor for recommendations and resources. This is another thing that can help improve your overall health as well.
10. Ask About Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)
For many women, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is the most effective way to manage hot flashes and night sweats. This treatment consists of prescription hormones that are used to replace the estrogen that you lose during menopause. This reduces menopausal symptoms like hot flashes.
HRT can be administered using several types of prescription hormones including:
- Bioidentical hormones
- Synthetic hormones
- Hormones from other species
- Products that combine bioidentical hormones and synthetic hormones
If you are interested in HRT for the relief of menopausal symptoms, you should talk to an experienced menopause practitioner. These doctors specialize in helping women manage the symptoms of menopause so that their quality of life is improved. A menopause practitioner will evaluate your condition and make a recommendation for the type of HRT that is best for you.
As a certified menopause practitioner, Dr. Karen Clark of Chapel Hill Gynecology is experienced in helping patients manage the symptoms of menopause. If you are trying to cope with hot flashes and night sweats, she can help develop a treatment plan to manage your symptoms. Call Dr. Clark at (919) 960-2720 to schedule an appointment. Chapel Hill Gynecology is open for office visits (using recommended protocols for preventing COVID-19 exposure) as well as telemedicine visits.