Does It Work?

Cool­ing prod­ucts

Prevention (USA) - - CONTENTS - BY STEPHANIE AN­DER­SON WITMER

Any­one can feel too darn hot from time to time, but if you’re among the ma­jor­ity of menopausal women, hot flashes can re­ally make you lose your cool. Th­ese saunalike mo­ments hap­pen when di­min­ish­ing es­tro­gen lev­els dis­rupt the body’s in­ter­nal ther­mo­stat, ex­plains Stephanie Faubion, M.D., direc­tor of the Cen­ter for Women’s Health at the Mayo Clinic. Hor­mone ther­apy (HT) can safely re­duce hot flashes by up to 95% in healthy women un­der 60, says Dr. Faubion; cog­ni­tive­be­hav­ioral ther­apy and some an­tide­pres­sants may also help. But if you’re wary of hor­mones—or un­able to use them—sev­eral new prod­ucts prom­ise to chill you out.

WEAR­ABLE DE­VICES

WHAT THEY ARE: Gad­gets you wear on your wrist that claim to lower body tem­per­a­ture by emit­ting ther­mo­elec­tric waves. WHAT WE KNOW: With the push of a but­ton, cool­ing waves are sent to nerve end­ings in the wrist, which can con­vince the brain that the en­tire body is cool­ing down. One small study found that the Embr Wave wrist­band im­proved users’ whole-body com­fort lev­els. SHOULD YOU TRY THEM? Sure, says Lisa Larkin, M.D., a women’s health in­ternist in Cincinnati and founder of Ms.Medicine—if hot flashes are both­er­ing you enough to make the cost worth it. “They’re safe and drug-free, so they could be a good op­tion for women who can’t take HT,” she says. BRANDS: Embr Wave bracelet ($299); Külkuf ($199)

COOL­ING CLOTH­ING

WHAT IT IS: Gar­ments that claim to not only wick away sweat, but also lower body tem­per­a­ture.

WHAT WE KNOW: Com­pa­nies use dif­fer­ent ma­te­ri­als, but the idea is the same: Sweat is

ab­sorbed into the fab­ric, where it in­ter­acts with air or in­ter­wo­ven xyl­i­tol threads to cool skin. Stud­ies have shown that cer­tain tex­tiles are more cool­ing than oth­ers.

SHOULD YOU TRY IT? Yes. The cloth­ing won’t stop the flashes, Dr. Larkin says, but it can be very help­ful in keep­ing you a lit­tle cooler, es­pe­cially when you’re in a sit­u­a­tion you know can trig­ger the heat, like trav­el­ing by plane.

BRANDS: Arc­tic Cool ac­tivewear

($25 and up); ExOf­fi­cio Sol Cool

Kaliani shirt ($60)

SPE­CIAL­IZED BED­DING

WHAT IT IS: Li­nens made of mois­turewick­ing ma­te­rial; pil­lows with a layer of cool­ing gel; mat­tress pads with wa­ter flow­ing through mi­crochan­nels to reg­u­late your body temp while you snooze.

WHAT WE KNOW: It’s not just night sweats that can keep you up; many women go­ing through menopause also suf­fer from hor­mone-re­lated in­som­nia. While cool­ing li­nens won’t fix hor­monal im­bal­ances, they may keep you com­fort­able enough to catch more zzz’s.

SHOULD YOU TRY IT? Yes for the sheets and pil­lows, says Dr. Faubion. But be­fore you splurge on a sleep sys­tem, call your doc to dis­cuss other ther­a­pies or life­style changes.

BRANDS: Tem­pur-Pedic Tem­pur-Cloud Breeze Dual Cool­ing Pil­low ($169 to $209); Sheex bed­ding and pil­lows

($50 and up); ChiliPad sleep sys­tem ($499 and up)

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