Cool Your Tatas

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I just heard about an odd, yet very appealing product which is sold by Polar Products, a company which specializes in body cooling and hot and cold therapy. Under the section entitled “Women’s Health”, among all the cooling vests, scarves, etc., are Bra Coolers. These nifty cotton pockets house small cold packs which can be placed on the underside of each breast inside your bra to keep your girls cool. This would be especially delightful for larger chested ladies who often have overhang issues, which can be pretty uncomfortable in hot weather.

I think I need these for my next trip to Thailand!

Click on this link to check it out:

https://www.polarproducts.com/polarshop/pc/Pair-of-Cool58-Bra-Coolers-p258.htm

How To Keep Cool At Night

The one part about summer which I never miss is the endless string of hot nights which keep me tossing and turning. In an effort to keep the ambient temperature as comfortable as possible while I slumber, I have tried many different methods to cool down, and some still do the trick quite nicely. Thankfully, the mercury should start dropping soon, and the blazing hot nights will abate.

Here’s what has worked nicely for me in my quest for a cool sleeping environment:

1. Central A/C is always set for a certain temperature. We have it set at 77 degrees because at 78 degrees or higher, the entire household (there are four of us) bakes like incubating baby chicks.

2. The ceiling fan in my bedroom is always on. There’s nothing I can do about the fan placement, and often lament the fact that the fan is positioned over the foot of my bed instead of over my head, but the bedroom is huge. If I owned the place I live in, I would install three ceiling fans in line so that I could stay cool in bed, sitting in front of the television, or sitting at my desk on the other side of the room.

3. I have two sleek tabletop fans on my nightstands which are wonderful on hot nights. They have a slim profile, and are relatively quiet.

4. I always use 100% Egyptian cotton sheets, which have more of a tendency to stay cool than sheets which are a lower thread count or made of synthetic materials.

5. I have a cooling mattress pad on my mattress. The brand I have, PureCare Frio 11 Inch Cooling Mattress Protector, is acceptable but not great.

Frio Cooling Mattress Pad

Several other bloggers have recommended the Slumber Cloud Nacreous Mattress Pad which is available at slumbercloud.com, and I have a sneaking suspicion that it does a better job of cooling than the Frio.

6. When I was dealing with the worst of my perimenopausal nights sweats, I would place an ice cold gel pack between my shoulder blades and sleep on my back so that I could maximize the surface area which came into contact with the pack. After two summers of using gel packs on a nightly basis, I am thrilled that I haven’t had to resort to such craziness this summer.

7. On the hottest summer nights, I will take a tepid shower before retiring. The shower ritual cools core body temperature and primes the body for more restful sleep.

8. I will often kick a foot or an entire leg out from under the covers to cool down. This has been scientifically proven to decrease core body temperature. Some researchers even recommend that people sleep with their feet completely unencumbered by socks or bedding.

What did NOT work for me was a bed fan. I had seen the BedJet Climate Comfort Cooling Fan and was intrigued by it, but the steep price ($300 and up) caused me to lose interest quickly. When I learned that there was a Brookstone version of the bed fan, and that it was $99, I quickly purchased it, only to be so disappointed by the performance that I returned it. Even with the lightweight sheets I have on the bed and a simple coverlet (no blanket, no heavy comforter), and with the fan cranked up to the maximum setting, the device spewed out just enough air power to keep the toes of one foot cool.

I am intrigued by the Breezy Buddy fan-cooled pillow and wish I had known about this product when I was in the throes of hormonal night sweats. However, I no longer need such a device.

If you are looking for ways to cool down your bedroom, you might want to try a few of the suggestions I have discussed here. Here’s to a restful and cool night’s sleep!

Macafem Video Review on YouTube

Please check out my review of Macafem which was shot in 2015. Macafem is a supplement designed to address the symptoms of perimenopause and menopause (hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, etc.). I have not been approached, paid, or otherwise encouraged by the makers of Macafem to put a review together. This video is merely my unbiased review of the product from my personal experience taking it.

I am still taking Macafem, and my symptoms of night sweats and hot flashes have pretty much subsided. I also lost all the water weight I was carrying while I went through menopause.

Hot and Cold

Hot-Flashes-2

Many women who are in their early 40’s and beyond experience a roller coaster ride with their internal thermostats which is absolutely maddening. They can go from sitting comfortably one minute, to a sudden sweat and flush which makes them feel like they are standing next to a fiery blaze the next minute. Such a roast-fest can last from seconds to minutes, after which a woman may feel pretty comfortable. But the pendulum can swing the other way, and the woman may suddenly feel very cold once the air conditioning has kicked in, prompting her to put on a sweater. Guess what? Chances are that sweater will be peeled off in a matter of minutes when the woman has another hot flash. Hot, cold, hot, cold, hot, cold. Fun times. Such fluctuations in a woman’s perception of temperature, coupled with her constant putting on and taking off layers of clothing, are often perceived as pretty nutty by people who don’t have a clue about the torture these women go through.

I can relate to the constant temperature fluctuations because I have been suffering from it for over a year now. I fully realize that my body doesn’t know what temperature it is. Thanks to hormonal imbalance and the decline associated with peri-menopause, I am very familiar with the sweating which is sudden and intense, and I know that feeling of desperation which has me peeling off clothes, fanning myself, and sticking my head in freezers and in front of blowing fans. However, I only recently began experiencing the feeling that I am suddenly freezing my butt off, and I truly can’t stand it. My perception of the ambient temperature can go from upper 70’s, to 120 degrees, to 60 degrees, within 5 minutes flat.

woman with chills

On my worst days I will have maybe five or six of these episodes, so the daytime hours aren’t too bad, but my evenings make up for the relative break I get during the day, because I am hot and sweaty for many hours and cannot cool down at all, even if I wear a cooling towel around my neck, lie on the floor under my ceiling fan (the darned thing is positioned right over the foot of the bed and doesn’t cool me off at all when I am in bed), and lie over the covers. My bedroom feels like it is 100 degrees and I cannot get away from the heat because, of course, the heat is emanating from ME. My hypothalamus is tricked every night into perceiving that my body needs to release excess heat. I know that this is the result of low estrogen levels, but my professional knowledge of estrogen therapy is enough to keep me from ever supplementing with estrogen, so I will continue to suffer as long as my hypothalamus triggers the way it does. At least I know I am not alone: about 85% of women who are peri-menopausal experience hot flashes. Hot flashes can last from several months up to 15 years, with an average of 2 years. I hope and pray that I fall into the average! Seriously, hot flashes and night sweats are absolutely miserable. I often get as little as two hours of sleep at night when my night sweats are in full effect!

Did Someone Turn Up The Heat?

hot flashes
I have always heard peri-menopausal and menopausal women complain of hot flashes like they were horrific occurrences, yet I figured they were similar to getting flushed, so they really couldn’t be THAT bad. Oh how wrong I was! Hot flashes can best be described as a SUDDEN and intense heat and sweating in the chest, neck and face which feels like someone cranked up the heater to a thousand degrees. To use fancy medical terminology, it SUCKS. Women look like they’re crazy when they rapidly start loosening and removing clothing, fanning themselves with magazines, standing in front of fans, and sticking their heads in the freezer. I can tell you that I have done every one of these things, and when I am in the midst of finding a way to cool down, I don’t care one whit who thinks I have gone bonkers. You would be in a rush too if you were being cooked from the inside!

If you are still trying to imagine what a hot flash feels like, picture this: you are going about your usual business, when out of nowhere, a switch gets flipped inside your upper chest and you experience a heat quite similar to Bikram yoga rooms. It is relentless too, causing instant sweating and discomfort. Recently I have been experiencing some very strong hot flashes which have necessitated desperate measures such as ripping off every shred of clothing and lying on a linoleum floor to cool off, wrapping a cool pack around my neck while I sat in front of my computer and worked, and walking around Chicago O’Hare International Airport wearing a tank top and fanning myself while everyone else wore heavy coats which were appropriate for the 35 degree Fahrenheit weather outside.

The main reason why hot flashes occur is a drop in estrogen levels which the hypothalamus misinterprets as an increase in body temperature, causing the body to react to cool it down. These episodes can occur at any time, but in my estimation are the worst when they occur during sleep. Over the past two weeks, it has been impossible for me to sleep for more than an hour before I experience a SEVERE hot flash which has me running to the freezer to grab an ice pack to snuggle up with! It has become a ritual: Fall asleep, wake up an hour later drenched in sweat. Spend the next 15 minutes trying to stop sweating, then finally fall asleep exhausted. Repeat cycle each hour to two hours until alarm goes off in morning. It is utter misery. This also may occur for up to fifteen years, even after I go through menopause. In the current vernacular, all I have to say to that is, WTF???