Cooling Down During Hot Flashes

Over 67% of women in the United States who are in perimenopause, or well into menopause, deal with hot flashes. 

Hot flashes are a sudden feeling of heat, sometimes accompanied by a flushed face and intense sweating. While the exact cause can vary between women, it is commonly attributed to changes in blood circulation. They start when blood vessels near the surface of the skin widen, in an effort to cool off, making you break out into a sweat. 

Preventing Hot Flashes

There isn’t anything you can do to avoid sudden increases in body heat due to menopause. But, avoiding triggers that may aggravate them or make them more severe can help. Common triggers include: 

  • Caffeine
  • Alcohol
  • Tight clothing
  • Cigarette smoke
  • Spicy foods
  • Stress

How to Stay Cool

As soon as you begin having hot flashes, talk with your doctor so you can begin creating a plan to best minimize menopause symptoms. 

Use a Cooling Pillow at Night

There are “Chill Pillows” available that have a refillable cushion. This cushion can be filled with cold water or any other cooling material. When you cool your head, the rest of your body will feel cooler, to. 

Lightweight Clothing

The best thing to do during menopause when hot flashes are common, is to wear lightweight clothing that is not tight. Linen is lightweight and breathable. Bamboo textiles are soft, breathable, and absorbent. Cotton and merino wool are also very popular materials. 

Intentional Breathing Exercises

Slow, deep breathing from the abdomen for 7-10 minutes throughout the day, in the morning, afternoon, and evening may help prevent sudden onset hot flashes. 


Daily exercise such as walking, dancing, bicycling, and swimming are great ways to get moving each day.