I’ve lost count of the number of times I have asked this question over the last 10 years.
Hot flushes are probably the symptom that most women (and men) associate with the menopause. 80% of women experience hot flushes and/or night sweats during their menopause, with 25% of those women reporting they are severe and interfere with their quality of life. Hot flushes can continue into post-menopausal years, and it’s not uncomon for women in their 70s and 80s to still experience hot flushes.
On average a hot flush lasts 4 minutes but they can go on for up to 10 minutes, occurring at any time of the day. You can feel that familiar tsunami of heat start rushing through your body, until your face is bright red and you just need air….ice….anything to bring some relief.
There are some things you can do to help your hot flushes.
Light Layers – dressing in cooler clothes and with layers will help you get relief from the heat quite quickly. Wearing short sleeves works well, so when you take off the top layer, you can get air to your skin.
Have fan, will travel – a little handheld, USB chargeable fan is a must. This will keep you cool at your workstation, in the kitchen, when you travel and in bed.
Spritz it up – lots of facial mists (or just a simple water spray bottle) can be used over make up and can give you an instant cool down. Keep it in the fridge for extra impact.
Hydration Hydration Hydration – always having a bottle of water with you will also help cool you down, and is important to replace fluids if you are sweating more with the hot flushes.
Bedtime comfort – well, not completely but layer your bed linen and use a lighter duvet. Cotton sheets, a blanket and light duvet can be better than one heavy duvet. If you need to change bed linen because of night sweats, it is likely to be a couple of sheets, rather than a duvet set.
Ditch the triggers – caffeine, alcohol, spicy food, smoking and stress can all make hot flushes worse. Making a reduction in any of those stimulants may have a positive effect.
You may wish to speak to your healthcare practitioner about what medications could help your hot flushes. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) can help this symptom if that is right for you.
Some women find that alternative therapies also support them with their symptoms.
This fan has been a life saver for me!
Keeping this facial mist in the fridge or keeping it by your bed at night is so helpful too.