How to Cope with Menopause Symptoms Part 2

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Disclaimer – This post is for general informational and educational purposes only. Please see my Disclaimers page for further information.

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In Part One which you can read here, I talked about why I wanted to write about ways to cope with menopause symptoms (or the symptoms of a temporary, medically induced one).

I shared some tips for coping with vaginal dryness, headaches, and weak bones and I hope that they were useful for you.

In Part Two, I’m going to be sharing tips for:

  • Hot flushes/night sweats
  • Difficulty Sleeping
  • Constant Nausea

Before I share the tips, I just want to reinforce some things from Part One.

The NHS does not recommend any complementary or alternative therapies to treat the symptoms of menopause. This is because it’s unclear how safe/effective they are, and they may interact with other medications.

None of the tips I have for coping with menopause symptoms falls into the complementary/alternative therapies category but if you have any concerns about interaction with your current medication, contact your GP or Pharmacist.

I also want to add, if you are struggling to cope with the symptoms of menopause, speak to your doctor. They’ll advise you on whether you can have Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) or not. They can discuss the benefits and risks of taking HRT so you can make an informed decision about whether you choose to take it or not.

Hot Flushes/Night sweats

I’ve grouped hot flushes and night sweats as the things you can try to ease them work for both.

a. Fans

Fans are your friends. Whether it’s a handheld battery-operated/rechargeable one, a desk/freestanding one, or a fabulous hand fan. Buy one of each if you need to. There is no better feeling, mid-hot flush than a fan giving you a cooling breeze. Lush.

b. Cold shower

Well, we all know the joke about telling people who are feeling horny to have a cold shower. Works for hot flushes too. Bonus points if you don’t bother taking your clothes off and just throw yourself into the shower fully clothed.

I may have shoved the upper half of my body under the icy cold jets of my shower while still wearing a crop top and then enjoyed sitting around in a cold, wet crop top. Forget about the extra washing, the relief is worth it.

c. Cold Water/Cold Compress

Two different methods, both will give you a similar result. If you can’t have a cold shower, try running cold water over your wrists as it will help you to cool down. Another option would be to put a cold compress on the back of your neck.

d. Hydrate

Hydrating throughout the day is important regardless of hot flushes. When the hot flushes and night sweats strike though, make sure you drink plenty of water. You’re going to sweat, and you could end up dehydrated if you don’t drink enough fluids.

If you’re a water snob like me, please consider using a water filter jug/bottle instead of buying bottled water. The environment will thank you.

e. Cooling Pillow Mat

A Cooling Pillow Mat will help to dissipate heat while you sleep so not only will it cool you down, it will also help you to sleep. Refrigerate the Cooling Pillow Mat before you need to use it. Place it in your pillowcase on top of your pillow, lay back, and enjoy the cooling effects.

f. Cooling Spray

There are a variety of different cooling sprays on the market now. I’ve used Magicool in the past and the relief from the heat was pretty good. You can even get ones now which have SPF 50 in them, so you’ll be protected from the sun and cooled down. You could also use your normal Facial Mist (like the ones from revolution), keep it in your fridge, and spritz it when you need to.

g. Lighter clothes

One good thing to come out of the covid-19 pandemic is that a lot of us will be working from home for the foreseeable future.

This means if you have a hot flush you can always take off any clothes you can to cool down. I can frequently be found working in a crop top and a pair of leggings.

Just don’t forget to keep your camera off or put clothes on before your never-ending zoom meetings. I won’t be held responsible for anyone getting sacked because they flashed their colleagues.

On a night, I’d recommend short pj bottoms and a tee or vest top. Make sure whatever you wear (if you choose to wear anything) is 100% cotton.

I do not recommend when having a hot flush in the middle of your local supermarket that you take off all your clothes and get in the freezer. It’s frowned upon and I’m banned from my local Tesco now…

Difficulty Sleeping

Having trouble sleeping is never a fun experience. Even less so when you’ve got hot flushes and night sweats to contend with too.

a. Check your room temperature

Make sure your bedroom is cooler than the rest of your house. Our bodies prefer cooler temperatures on a night and if your room is too warm, you’re going to struggle to sleep. I turn my bedroom fan on an hour before I want to go to sleep. It makes my room nice and cool.

b. Pillow Spray

There are a lot of pillow sprays out there that may help you to fall asleep quicker. Personally, I love the This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray. The spray contains lavender, camomile, and vetivert. It’s so relaxing that even if you don’t fall asleep right away, you’ll get some rest.

c. Badger Balm

I was introduced to Badger Balm by someone who understood what hell I was going through with endometriosis/prostap/not being able to sleep.

It’s a balm which contains a calming blend of essential oils and you can apply it anywhere. Not there. Really…?? The directions say you can apply it to your lips, temples, chest, or hands and the scent will help to quiet your mind.

d. Sleep Mask

It’s almost impossible to get a fully darkened bedroom so wearing a sleep mask will help give the illusion of being in total darkness and could help you drift off into a peaceful slumber.

e. Light covers

This one is a must. The lighter the covers, the better. If you share your bed, then consider getting yours and their duvets. Otherwise, you’ll wake up cold because you’ve thrown the covers off completely. They’ll wake up hot with a double layer of covers. Save yourself the argument.

f. Put on Socks

I know, I mentioned earlier to wear light clothes in bed and now I’m saying to put more clothes on. There’s a valid reason though. Doctor Jess Andrade (@doctorjesss on TikTok) posted a video about wearing socks to bed and what that does to your body.

This tip from @doctorjesss is supported by a 2006 scientific study https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17070562/.

By wearing socks to bed, your feet get warm and opens the blood vessels which cool your body down. By wearing socks, you’ll fall asleep faster.

I bought these socks from Amazon last year because I always have cold feet. Not only did they keep my feet warm, I did notice I could fall asleep more easily when I wear them to bed.

If you can’t bear the thought of wearing socks in bed, the study also found that a warm footbath works too. Get out your foot spa and relax before bed.

g. Adjusting Phone Settings

Your phones eye comfort menu lets you specify the time each day that you want the screen to appear more yellow toned than blue toned. You can also put your phone on to do not disturb every night so even if you can’t sleep, you’re not going to hear it buzz and immediately check it.

Well, that’s the plan anyway, if you’re like me, you’ll try endless games of Solitaire in a bid to make yourself tired and check every single notification.

h. White Noise machine

I’ve really struggled to switch off on a night. Add in an injection that causes a temporary menopause and it’s not surprising I’m frequently still awake at 4am. My brain can’t be quiet no matter how much I tell it to shush. That’s just my anxiety. Well that, and the existential panic and worry that everyone I know, and love is going to die a horrible death. It hasn’t been this bad in a long time.

One thing I find helps is falling asleep listening to a tv show I’ve seen countless times before, so it doesn’t keep me awake. I joke that I should look into having therapy because it’s always Star Trek and always a Borg episode. It’s true what they say, resistance is futile.

Resistance is Futile gif.

Now if a television in the bedroom is a big no for you, you could try a white noise machine. It may just help your brain to shush and help you drift off to sleep.

i. Reduce your caffeine intake

This one breaks my heart. I love coffee but I try to limit myself to one cup a day to ensure I’m not still awake at 3am. It doesn’t always work but if you do drink a lot of coffee/caffeinated beverages then try switching to decaffeinated coffee/caffeine-free drinks. It might help your brain to switch off a little earlier.

j. Get up

You’ve tried everything you can, but you still can’t seem to drift off to sleep. Get up. Make yourself a cup of caffeine-free tea. Read a chapter of a book in the living room. There’s some psychological wizardry that goes on in your head when you can’t sleep. You’ll end up feeling frustrated and stressed watching the clock so the best thing to do is remove yourself from the situation temporarily. Once you’ve finished your tea or read a chapter of your book, try to settle down to sleep again.

Nausea – A Prostap Side Effect

a. Lemon and Ginger Tea

Lemons contain citric acid which is thought to aid digestion and soothe upset stomachs. Ginger has been used for an incredibly long time to ease nausea, sickness, and other stomach complaints.

You can either buy lemon and ginger teabags or make your own using fresh ginger and fresh lemons.

An easy recipe from BBC Good Food (https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/lemon-ginger-tea) is:

b. Fresh air

It isn’t known why but fresh air does ease nausea. If you start to feel sick, go out for some fresh air or switch a fan on and sit in front of it.

c. Apply Pressure – Travel sickness bands

There is an acupressure point on your inner wrist called Pericardium 6 (PC 6). When you apply pressure to it using a motion sickness band or by massaging it, it can help to ease nausea.

The image below shows you how to find your PC 6.

Original image be be found here.

d. Something Minty

In 2013 there was a study about the effect of Peppermint Oil and Spearmint Oil on nausea in cancer patients. Both were found to be an effective way to prevent sickness and ease nausea in some patients. It doesn’t matter whether it’s peppermint or spearmint.

You can either drink peppermint tea or take peppermint capsules and see if they help.

e. Talk to your doctor

If nothing helps to ease your nausea, you’ll need to talk to your doctor.  They’ll be able to prescribe you something to help ease nausea and hopefully have you feeling better quickly.

Unfortunately, one thing I can’t give you any helpful tips for is how to deal with menopause brain. I’m so forgetful at the moment and I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s had that fun little side effect. The only thing that’s worked is calendar reminders on my phone and checklists for the important things.

There isn’t a one size fits all method to easing menopause symptoms. It’s a lot of trial and error. What works for one person may not work for someone else.

If there are any amazing menopause tips I’ve missed, please share them in the comments.


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