It is happening in households across the nation. Up to 80% of Perimenopausal and menopausal women are being ripped from their restful slumbers by a menacing force. Some call them night sweats, but the most common name is hot flashes or vasomotor symptoms. Although there are many treatment options to help ease the frequency of hot flashes, there are things you can do on your own to take back control of your nights. So put on your light jackets ladies, because we are about to cool things down!
Something Wicked this Way Comes
Hot flashes are described as a sudden rush of heat that goes to the face, chest, and head. It is followed by a flushing sensation that leads to sweating and chills. For those extra lucky ladies that get them at night, the sweat can be drenching, thus possibly preventing you from getting a good night’s sleep.
Fighting the Heat
For so many women, hot flashes become a part of their lives starting a little before menopause begins, in some cases lasting 11 years or more after the start of menopause symptoms. In these cases, it is essential to see if you can manage them. Below are some options to try at home if you are not ready for medical intervention:
- Maintaining a Healthy Weight– Women that are overweight often experience hot flashes more frequently and more severe.
- Lowering the Thermostat– If the room is cold, you are cool.
- Dress in Layers– Dressing in layers can help cool you off when a hot flash comes on.
- Avoid Certain Food and Drinks– Spicy food, caffeine, and alcohol can all make menopause symptoms worse.
If the self-help techniques are not helping you reduce the frequency or severity of hot flashes, it is time to see your doctor. There isn’t a cure for them, so the goal is to manage symptoms. Hormone and non-hormone therapies can help reduce frequency and severity, and for the women whose sleep is affected, there are options available for getting a better night’s sleep.
Hot Flashes and Research
As with many conditions, there is not a one-size-fits-all approach for hot flash treatment. Not every person can take hormones, and depending on medical history and side effects, some women are left without effective treatment options.
Clinical research may be the answer to those women. If you or a loved one is suffering from hot flashes, clinical research studies may be an option. Qualified participants receive study-related care and treatments, along with compensation for time and travel. To read more about our enrolling hot flash studies, click here.