Home remedies are a great place to start to help relieve hot flashes. Since hot flashes are triggered by -- not surprisingly -- hot things, avoiding those triggers can go a long way to keeping you cool. The first piece of advice is to dress in layers so when you get a flash you can peel off a layer at a time. Pick natural fibers over synthetics because synthetics don't breathe.
For night sweats keep a fan nearby and use a light blanket. Keep the bedroom temperature on the cool side. Don't smoke (wait, you are still smoking?). Try limiting alcohol, caffeine and spicy food to see if that helps. If you get a lot of hot flashes you may want to carry a small folding Asian type fan in your purse so you can fan yourself at a moment's notice. If you don’t have a fan handy, even a magazine can do the trick.
I am a big fan of mind-body techniques such as slow breathing, Tai Chi and meditation not only because they may reduce hot flashes, but because they are good for overall wellbeing too. Chinese herbs, dong quai, evening primrose oil, ginseng, kava, red clover extract, black cohosh and vitamin E have been studied for hot flashes, but their effectiveness is unproven. You can also try eating a diet that includes phytoestrogens such as soy but it should be noted that the estrogen in soy (and black cohosh) acts like other kinds of estrogens and binds to estrogen receptors, so it may have the same worrisome effect as hormone therapies for menopause. If you want to change your diet, make sure to talk to your doctor to see if that’s the right solution for you given any other treatments you may be on.