Over the years, a number of my female personal training clients have had a difficult time with hot flashes. Since most of my clients are baby boomers, many of them are going through menopause right now. The worst part about menopause seems to be the night sweats. Once they are woken from a hot flash in the middle of the night they have a real hard time going back to sleep.

I’m always looking for ways to make my client’s lives more enjoyable and healthy. In response to many of my female clients showing up for a training session exhausted from not sleeping due to night sweats, I’ve done some research. There are a number of things women can do besides taking hormone replacement drugs (which we all know have a number of health risks associated to them) to reduce the severity of hot flashes.

Things that can trigger a Hot Flash:

  • Caffeine
  • Alcohol
  • Hot drinks
  • Spicy foods
  • Hot weather
  • Hot bath or shower before bed
  • Smoking
  • Stress or getting upset
  • Keeping the bedroom room to hot
  • Warm beds (heavy blanket)

Tips for dealing with Night Sweats:

  • Wear loose fitting cotton pajamas or night gown
  • Keep the bedroom cool
  • Have a glass of ice water next to the bed to cool you off if you need it
  • Use cotton sheets on the bed to keep cool
  • Don’t sleep too close to your partner, they give off heat
  • Take a cool shower before bed

Remedies for Hot Flashes:

  • Regular exercise and maintaining a healthy weight
  • Soy, black cohosh and red clover may help but the studies are inconclusive. However, a number of women feel they do help. In addition, having other soy products as well as all plant-based foods containing estrogens called isoflavones. In some studies, these have been shown to help minimize the symptoms of menopause.
  • Flaxseed has show some promise in reducing the number of hot flashes and improving mood, but more studies need to be done.

Unfortunately, there is no way around it. Most women will experience menopausal symptoms for 2 to 10 years in their mid-forties to mid-fifties. But obviously every woman is different. I have friends and clients who barely had any menopausal symptoms while others have had a difficult few years.

I hope the information in this article can help you sleep soundly at night and manage your hot flashes better. If anyone would like to share their experiences with night sweats please leave a comment. Likewise, if you have any tips on how to manage your night sweats, let me know.

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Best – Mike Cola

Fitness Contrarian


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