Managing Hot Flashes

By Menopause Now Editorial Team | Updated: Jun 18, 2020


Women who experience hot flashes during menopause have several ways to manage these uncomfortable occurrences in order to reduce their frequency and severity. In many cases, simple steps can be taken throughout the day to prevent or reduce hot flashes. Avoiding the common triggers of hot flashes is another important way to combat these episodes.

Continue reading for some helpful hot flash survival tips and to learn about common hot flash triggers and how to avoid them.

Survival Tips

Simple daily changes can greatly help a menopausal woman manage hot flashes.

Change clothes

Choosing certain fabrics and dressing in layers can help keep the body cool and reduce the risk of hot flashes. Avoid unbreathable and warm fabrics, such as wool, synthetics, and silk. Linen, rayon, and cotton are preferable because they are cooler and more breathable. Many women also find that open-collared shirts are much preferred to turtlenecks and more constricting designs.

Chill out

Did You Know?

Avoiding triggers and keeping cool are simple and effective steps women can take to manage hot flashes.

Lowering the temperature in the immediate environment can also go a long way toward managing hot flashes. When possible, turn down the thermostat. Consider air conditioning, ceiling and floor fans, and even small personal handheld fans.

A woman can also manage hot flashes by arriving to meetings and other events early in order to get the coolest seat available, thus avoiding hot flash triggers.

Keeping cool with water

In addition to controlling for room temperature and conditions, a woman can also manage hot flashes by keeping ice water or another cold beverage on hand during the day and night. This also replenishes water lost through sweating. To avoid hot flashes in the nighttime, it is wise to take a cool shower before bed.

Switch up the bedroom

Besides a cool shower before bed, other simple steps can help to manage hot flashes at night. A woman may want to consider a bigger bed, especially if she and her partner have different temperature preferences or if her partner warms her up at night. Use cotton sheets and avoid silk or synthetics. Keeping a cold pack under or near the pillow and turning the pillow often can also help keep a woman cool and minimize hot flashes.

Managing Hot Flashes

Avoiding Triggers

In addition to making these simple changes, avoiding hot flash triggers can significantly help a woman manage hot flashes. Understanding these possible hot flash triggers can help you to identify what might be contributing to your hot flashes.

Common Triggers

Warm environments like saunas contributing to your hot flashes
  • Warm environments (e.g., hot weather, rooms, beds, saunas, and showers)
  • Heat-generating devices (e.g., fireplaces, hair dryers, heaters)
  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Hot and spicy foods and drinks
  • Smoking cigarettes
  • Overconsumption of caffeine, alcohol, and sugar
  • Diet pills

It is often helpful for a woman who is experiencing hot flashes to make a mental or written note of the circumstances in which hot flashes occur. Reading through the questions at the right can help a woman to better identify her hot flash triggers.

Tips for Identifying Hot Flash Triggers

  • Where were you? Were you in a hot environment?
  • At what time of day did the hot flash occur?
  • What was the level or intensity of the episode? How long did it last?
  • What were you eating? Or drinking?
  • How were you feeling emotionally at the time? Stressed? Fatigued?
  • What measures did you take to alleviate the episode? Were any successful?

Making minor daily changes and avoiding triggers can make a huge difference for many menopausal women who are trying to manage hot flashes. While these measures often help to reduce the frequency and intensity of hot flashes, they are unable to treat the root of the problem, which is hormonal imbalance.

Fortunately, several natural treatments can treat the hormonal causes of hot flashes. Read on to the next page to learn more about treatments for hot flashes.

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