233. How to Take the Heat out of Hot Flashes

Women typically describe a hot flash as a sudden wave of heat that starts in the waist or chest, works its way to the neck and face, and sometimes the rest of the body. Hot flashes can occur as often as every 90 minutes. Each one can last from 15 seconds to 30 minutes; 5 minutes is average.

To reduce the discomfort of hot flashes, try these tactics.

  1. Have cool drinks, especially water, when you feel a hot flush coming on.

  2. Wear lightweight clothes made of natural fibers, such as cotton.

  3. Limit or avoid beverages that contain caffeine or alcohol.

  4. Ask your doctor about taking vitamin E and herbal supplements, such as black cohosh.

If you suffer from night sweats (hot flashes that occur as you sleep):

  1. Wear loose-fitting cotton nightwear. Have changes of nightwear ready.

  2. Keep the room cool. Sleep with only a top sheet, not blankets.

Chapter 9
  1. Women’s Health Problems