What helps hot flashes: Think your hot flashes away
Simply wishing your hot flashes weren’t real won’t work, but a double-blind, controlled study (the best kind), published in Menopause, found that using a mental technique called cognitive behavioral therapy was effective at diminishing both hot flashes and night sweats. CBT is a simple type of psychological therapy you can do on your own that works by challenging negative thoughts and replacing them with more positive ones. In this case the women were taught to change their beliefs about how well they could cope with and control their hot flashes. Sound too simple to work? The researchers reported that CBT worked significantly regardless of a participant’s age, body mass index, menopause status, or psychological factors. Don’t miss these other early warning signs of perimenopause.
What helps hot flashes: Set up your ideal sleep situation
Hot flashes and night sweats can wake women up as often as every hour, leaving them a sweaty, shaky, tired mess the next day, according to the UCLA Sleep Disorders Center. Unsurprisingly, this can make women grouchy and depressed. But while you may not be able to stop your hot flashes, practicing good “sleep hygiene” can reduce them. The researchers recommend keeping your room cool at night; avoiding hot showers or baths at least two hours before bed; eating a small bedtime snack, preferably one rich in vitamin E like almonds; and ditching caffeine, alcohol, and sugar. Here are other sleep-better techniques experts wish you knew.