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Preparing for and Dealing With Hot Flashes

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Even when a hot flash strikes or is likely to occur, you can prepare yourself to deal with it. Consider these tips:

  • Dress in layers, so you can peel off one layer after another as you get warmer.
  • Don't wear wool, don't wear synthetics, and be wary of silk. That leaves cotton, linen, rayon, and more cotton. (Look at the bright side: You'll save on cleaning bills, and you can stop worrying about moths.)
  • Avoid turtlenecks. Stick to open-neck shirts.
  • Keep ice water nearby that you can sip to cool down your insides.
  • Where possible, lower the thermostat. Maybe it's time for a decent air conditioner or a ceiling fan. Or maybe you'd prefer one of those little hand-held battery-operated fans or the foldable kind you flutter in front of your face. You can find perfectly adequate paper fans for about a dollar.
  • Wear cotton pajamas or a nightgown. If you perspire a lot at night, your nightclothes are easier to change than the sheets.
  • Use cotton sheets only, not synthetics.
  • Get a bigger bed if you and your partner are on different heat planets but you still want to stay in close orbit.
  • Take a cool shower before bed.
  • Arrive at meetings or other events early so that you can get the coolest seat.
  • Use your freezer liberally. Some women find it helpful to open the freezer at home (or in the supermarket) and stick their head in when a hot flash hits.
  • During humid seasons, get a good dehumidifier for the bedroom.
  • Pace yourself with the multitasking.

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