While every woman endures menopause differently, hot flashes and night sweats are relatively common at this stage of life. About 85% of women experience these symptoms, which are brief and sudden increases in body temperature.
Hot flashes and night sweats, or excess sweating overnight, can start as early as two to three years before your last menstrual period. While it’s typical to experience hot flashes and night sweats for about two years, these symptoms can last 15 years or longer after your final period.
The menopause specialists at McDowell Mountain Gynecology in Scottsdale, Arizona, provide professional treatment and empathetic support during a time that can be challenging for many women. Our caring and compassionate team specializes in helping women deal with hot flashes, night sweats, and other life-disrupting symptoms of menopause.
Depending on your condition, your provider may recommend remedies such as lifestyle changes or hormone therapy to get relief from these annoying and frustrating symptoms of menopause. If you’re experiencing hot flashes and night sweats, consider the following remedies to alleviate these symptoms.
Eat a healthy diet
A diet that includes a balance of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and healthy fats can provide all of the nutrients you need to handle the physical changes of menopause. Packing healthy snacks when you leave your house helps you avoid temptations while you’re out.
Avoid alcohol, spicy foods, and caffeine, which can trigger hot flashes in some women. Drinking a hot beverage may help you relax when you’re stressed, but it can also increase your body temperature, making you feel more flushed.
Drinking plenty of water helps you cool down if you experience a hot flash. It can also help you maintain a steady body temperature.
Control the room temperature
Managing the room temperature when possible can help you get some relief from hot flashes. Keep your thermostat low.
Reduce indoor heat by blocking out natural sunlight with shades or curtains between 10am and 3pm, the hottest hours of the day. Consider placing fans to circulate cool air toward areas where you work or relax in your home so you can continue with your daily activities even when a hot flash occurs.
To avoid night sweats, forgo heavy blankets or comforters, and use lightweight sheets. Lower the thermostat before you go to bed to create a cooler sleeping environment.
Dress in layers
Feeling overheated by extra clothing can trigger a hot flash. Dressing in light layers allows you to adapt to your body’s changing internal temperature discreetly by removing an outer layer of clothing.
Wear a garment made of moisture-wicking fabric as the first layer of clothing against your skin. This type of fabric is designed to lift the water off your body so it can evaporate quickly.
For nighttime, look for sleepwear made from the same moisture-wicking fabric. This can help you avoid the need to get up and change your clothing in the middle of the night if you experience night sweats.
Stress can contribute to the onset of hot flashes. Consider sources of stress at home and at work, and learn to limit your obligations and delegate responsibilities to others.
When you feel overwhelmed, avoid triggering a hot flash by focusing on relaxing. Taking several deep breaths can help you reset and clear your mind. Learn meditation, yoga, deep breathing, or other self-calming techniques to help you focus and feel calmer.
At night, establish a calming routine to reduce the impact of the day’s stress on your body.
Consider biodentical hormone replacement therapy
When lifestyle changes don’t provide adequate relief from hot flashes and night sweats, you may benefit from bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT). Your doctor typically recommends this treatment when menopausal symptoms interfere with your daily life.
Biodentical hormones are compounds that have the same molecular structure and are chemically identical to the hormones your body produces naturally. If this treatment is appropriate for you, your menopausal specialist designs a customized treatment plan that uses BHRT to help regulate your levels of estrogen and progesterone to relieve hot flashes and night sweats.
BHRT can be administered via gels, creams, patches, or injections. The treatment can also be administered using BHRT pellets implanted under your skin, releasing a consistent level of hormones over several months.
Find out more about improving your quality of life during menopause, alleviating hot flashes and night sweats. Schedule an appointment at McDowell Mountain Gynecology for a consultation today.