Cooling Down Hot Flashes: Behavioral Approaches

When a woman is experiencing hot flashes, it can be all-consuming. She may not be able to think about anything else and yet, prevention and preparation are two of the most important strategies for dealing with this symptom of menopause. Small, important shifts can be implemented at any point in the day and may have positive effects on a woman’s experience with hot flashes. As each woman is unique, her body and menstruation included, it’s important to test various behavioral strategies to see what works individually.

Before Bed

If you tend to get hot flashes during sleep, you can make a few small adjustments to your sleeping routine to help improve the environment. Sleeping in a cold room, and drinking small sips of water before bed, have been studied to be effective. Some women also employ a bed fan, a simple cooling device, during sleep to help the body regulate its temperature. While preparing the bed for sleep, thinking about layers can also be helpful. Hot flashes are more frequently experienced as hot and sweaty in the moment, but after, the sweat produced can lead to chills and a drastic cooling of the body. Preparing for such changes in temperature can help your body regulate.

During the Day

Similarly, dressing with layers can be helpful for women who experience hot flashes during the day. A portable fan can also be used, as well as a spray bottle, potentially with an essential oil for cooling like peppermint oil. Some women find relief to symptoms by not drinking, smoking, consuming caffeine, or eating spicy food. Maintaining a healthy weight is important as well, as women who are overweightor obese have been found to have higher rates of hot flashes. Ultimately, finding ways to cut daily anxiety—through healthy practices, exercise, and diet—are all beneficial.

Herbal Remedies

There are behavioral and medical methods of treating hot flashes, but one of the in-between options includes herbal remedies. For generations, women have used herbs and tinctures to assist their bodies during menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause. Black cohosh and red clover have been anecdotally reported as reducing the symptoms of hot flashes, though studies haven’t had conclusive results. Traditional Chinese medicine has employed Dong Quai for thousands of years to help with gynecological problems, though it, like all herbal supplements, must be researched carefully. Women who have blood clotting problems, for instance, should not ingest Dong Quai. Ginseng, kava, and evening primrose have also been reported, and in various depth studied, for their effects on hot flash symptoms. If you are experiencing hot flashes, you can also go the natural supplementalroute, based on ancient Japanese wisdom of fermented soybean, as you continue to learn about herbal remedies can be helpful in the promise.

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Hot Flashes: Are You Susceptible?


When hot flashes happen, often it feels like it’s too late to do anything. Sweating, stickiness on the skin, that rush of fiery heat moving through the body. There are many methods for addressing hot-flashes which are one of the most typical symptoms of menopause. There are both preventative cures as well as treatments that can be performed in the moment.

hot flashes symptoms and solutions

Why Hot Flashes

About 75% of American women get hot flashes during perimenopause or menopause. If you are experiencing this symptom of transition, you are not alone. Though the direct cause for hot-flashes isn’t known, there are many theories. Some scientists say that changes in reproductive organs causes the changes in hormones which can manifest in hot flashes. Similarly, changes to your body’s temperature regulator, the hypothalamus, has also been linked to hot flashes. The average woman who experiences hot-flashes will have them for just over 7 years, and hot flashes can begin at any stage of menopause, as well as before menopause begins. Some women get hot flashes 5-10 years before their last period, others during perimenopause and menopause, and others after menopause ends.

Who Gets Hot Flashes

Studies regarding ethnicity and race have also found some intriguing trends in who is most susceptible to hot-flashes. African American and Latina women are more susceptible to this symptom of menopause. Women with lower education levels tend to have symptoms that last longer, sometimes 10-15 years. Lower education levels often correlate with lower socioeconomic status, leading researchers to analyze the effect that stress may have on causing hot flashes as marginalized women often experience a greater variety and depth of social, economic, and other stresses. White and Asian women are less likely to get hot-flashes. However, white and obese women are more likely to have early onset of hot flashes. Women who smoke tend to have later onset hot-flashes. African American women are three times more likely to have hot flashes that last beyond menopause. The research continues into whether or not hot-flashes are genetic or environmental.

Risk Factors of Hot Flashes

Other potential risk factors for who gets hot flashes include smoking, potentially being overweight or obese, and having an irregular menstrual cycle. However, these factors manifest in different ways, and often risk-factors related to weight or irregular cycles are linked to having hot-flashes when younger, not necessarily during menopause. Women who report living with consistently high levels of stress and anxiety are also more prone to experiencing hot-flashes.

Super Flashers

One of the newer categories of hot-flashes has been deemed “super flashers,” to denote women who have hot-flashes early on, while they’re still menstruating, and then continue to have hot-flashes during and after menopause. These women, “super flashers,” tend to have hot-flashes for more than a decade.

Overall, there are many women in the United States who experience hot flashes and have to learn how to manage the symptoms. For some women, this experience may be mild, yet for others, it can be life-shifting. There are both medical and behavior ways to address hot-flashes.

Find what what exactly cause hot flashes and night sweats, and how to get rid of hot-flashes and night sweats naturally.

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