Hot Flashes and Night Sweats are common symptoms of menopause and perimenopause. While it is not exactly clear what causes hot flashes and you can’t really prevent hot flashes, if you pay attention to your hot flash triggers, you can possibly reduce the frequency and severity of your hot flashes. Thankfully, there are also Hot Flash Relief products that can help make your hot flashes less miserable.
What is a Hot Flash?
A hot flash is a sudden feeling of intense heat coming from inside you that spreads up your body. They can typically last anywhere from 30 seconds to about 10 minutes.
What does a hot flash feel like?
For me, I would get chills first, so I would pull up my collar or put on a sweater. Then I would get tingly, my heart would race a little, and I start to feel the heat creeping up my body. And I start to warm up, and get warmer, and warmer, and warmer and get this runaway warmth until I was flushed and sweaty and taking the layers off one by one. Of course once the sensation passed, the dampness from the lingering sweat would cause me to get the chills again, and the cycle would start all over.
How often do hot flashes happen?
Hot flashes start for most women in their 40s as they begin perimenopause. The frequency of hot flashes vary from woman to woman. Some women experience multiple hot flashes per hour, while others can go days in between.
How many years do hot flashes last?
There is no definitive answer to that question, as every woman is different (that answer didn’t help). Hot flashes start for most women in their 40s as they begin perimenopause. For a lot of women, hot flashes stop for the most part once they reach menopause. Some women have hot flashes for 2 years, some for 5 years, and some for 10 years or more, hopefully at a decreased intensity level.
Why do hot flashes happen?
Hot Flashes are thought to be caused by fluctuating estrogen levels, which are the hormones produced by your ovaries. During Perimenopause, your ovaries gradually stop working and begin producing less hormones. The rising and falling of estrogen levels can cause all sorts of symptoms, including the hot flashes and night sweats associated with menopause.
What can trigger hot flashes?
Common dietary hot flash triggers are caffeine, alcohol, hot beverages, red wine and spicy foods. Other hot flash triggers can include hot weather, heat or cold, stress, anxiety, smoking, tight or heavy clothing (or any clothing), exercise, hot hair styling appliances, and more.
Why are hot flashes worse at night?
For many women, hot flashes tend to get worse at night, causing you to wake up with your pajamas and sheets soaking wet, hence the term “Night Sweats”. Hormone levels tend to swing more drastically at night than during the day, which which can cause more intense hot flashes.
Can I prevent hot flashes at night (night sweats)?
Your diet during the day and evening can influence the frequency and severity of your hot flashes. You may find that limiting the amount of caffeine, spicy foods, and alcohol in the evening may help to reduce the frequency and severity of your overnight hot flashes and night sweats.
Environmental and lifestyle changes can help to reduce hot flashes and night sweats to help you sleep better at night, such as:
- Keep your bedroom cool,
- Wear moisture wicking pajamas,
- Sleep on moisture-wicking sheets
- Use cooling pillow cases
Tips for reducing hot flashes
You may not be able to prevent hot flashes, but adjusting your lifestyle to avoiding hot flash triggers can help to reduce the frequency of hot flashes. There are also Hot Flash Relief products that can help make them less miserable.
Lifestyle adjustments for mitigating hot flashes
- Pay attention to what causes your hot flashes and avoid those triggers.
- Dress in layers that can easily be added and removed.
- Carry a portable fan to keep cool.
- Relax – Stress can trigger hot flashes. Try a stress relief activity or technique.
- Stay hydrated and eat healthy.
- Alcohol, spicy foods, and caffeine can trigger hot flashes
- Avoid smoking, as it is considered to be a hot flash trigger.
- Hot flash relief products can help.
Talk to your doctor during your checkups about what is going on with your perimenopause and menopause journey. They can determine whether these symptoms and issues are a normal part of going through your changes or if they are a sign of some other underlying condition. If your Doctor doesn’t listen to your concerns, find a doctor who will. Menopause is real, and it’s hard enough to find support and someone who understands what you are going through. The more they know about what you are dealing with, the more they can help.