One of the more annoying byproducts of menopause is the hot flash. It's like someone instantly turned on a heater and you wonder why everyone around you isn't sweating. I haven't had too many hot flashes, but now that I'm getting at least one every night, it's getting on my nerves. I sleep with a fan on and make sure I have a bottle of ice water on my nightstand before I go to bed, but I've been curious about a product I'd seen advertised that supposedly helps with hot flashes. It's called the Chillow and it's a water-cooled cushion that contains memory foam to keep you cool without electricity. I'd read mixed reviews on Amazon, but with Summer coming up and the prospect of being even hotter and more uncomfortable, I bought, not the full one, but the less-expensive Mini model.
When you get it, you have to fill the Chillow up with water. This is the trickiest part because you will spill some. The trick is to hold the opening up with one hand while filling the product with the other hand. Then, after the foam absorbs the water, you carefully squeeze the air out during which you spill even more water. I had to squeeze the air out twice to have the Chillow look like it's supposed to in the instructions. You let the thing “rest” for four hours before using and, to get it even cooler, can put it in the refrigerator for up to 30 minutes before using.
After using the Mini Chillow for about a week now, I can tell you that it is not like putting your head on something uncomfortably cold; rather, it is cool to the touch. Since I don't have a hot flash until the middle of the night, I keep the product next to my bed and only use it when I wake up. This way, it's cool when I need it since I'd read that it can absorb body heat, just not as fast as a pillow. It does have a kind of weird, burnt smell that threw me off the first night or two that I used it, but that smell has subsided. Using it with a pillow case, obviously, raises the temperature a bit, however, since I don't mind sleeping on the plastic side of it, I sleep directly on it.
Does it help with the flashes? Yes. It is a “cure all” for them? No. I understand from some of the reviews on Amazon that the product tends to leak or smell funny after a year, but for under $20, I'm willing to spend that for something that helps me sleep. Also, I could see this helping one of the kids when they're running a fever since the temperature is quite soothing.
Try it if you have hot flashes at night. It's a nice, non-electronic, non-medicated way to help with these pesky byproducts of menopause.
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