Hot flashes are such an uncomfortable body reaction that most women experience when they go through the process of menopause. During this time, their estrogen levels drop causing changes in the body. One of those changes is a sudden increase in the temperature of the skin along with excess sweat gland activity that makes these hot flashes happen. There are medications that can help treat the hot flashes, but when you need some immediate relief, home remedies should be the first thing you try. Below are five things you can do to combat a hot flash or night sweats.
Cool The Temps One of the first things to try to relieve night sweats is cooling down your bedroom with an air conditioner. Turn the unit on and sit down and cool off as the air cools you down. If you don’t have a separate air conditioning unit for your room, a large fan may help or opening up a window to get the heat out of the room immediately will help. Switch your bedding to temperature regulating sheets and cooling pillows which will keep you much more comfortable. You can also try temperature regulating mattress pads and cooling blankets. Wear wicking pajamas and moisture wicking nightgowns which are much cooler and drier than cotton or polyester sleepwear.
Ice Having a big cup of ice chips to suck on during the day and night will help relieve instant hot flashes and cool the body down. By consistently drinking six to eight glasses of ice water during the day and night will help keep your body temperature regulated. Before going to bed, fill a cup of ice water up and have it by the bed stand for when a hot flash happens.
Cool Shower If you have an instant hot flash, jumping in a nice, cool shower will lower your body temperature quickly. As well, before you go to bed at night, take another cool shower to lower the body temperature before you go to sleep. It won’t cure a hot flash, but it will be a preventative method to keep them from happening so frequently.
Herbs Some herbs can be taken to relieve hot flashes instantly. Black cohosh is an herb that was used by early settlers and Indians for hot flashes years ago. As well, red raspberry leaves, spearmint, licorice root and motherwort are a few more herbs that will help reduce the hot flashes. These are considered plant estrogen's, so you may want to ask your doctor if they are okay for you to take.
Exercise Exercise will help to get rid of hot flashes and reduces stress at the same time. If you experience some hot flashes, try going out for a walk, or jumping into a pool for a cool swim. You want to do these exercises earlier in the day before you go to bed and can use them as well if you have an instant hot flash. Keep a notebook handy to keep track of dates and times you have your hot flashes. You may begin to see patterns such as eating spicy foods or drinking caffeine or alcohol that may be triggering your hot flashes. When you see these patterns, you can eliminate some of the causes and see if it helps. Penny Blumenthal writes about women's health, personal finance & home equity loans.