The dictionary on my computer defines sweat as “moisture exuded through the pores of the skin, typically in profuse quantities as a reaction to heat, physical exertion, fever, or fear.” I would say that’s accurate. After I read this definition I came to the realization that one, I might suffer from night terrors, and two, that I am not peeing my bed. No, it’s sweat. Sticky, yet sweet, sweat oozing from my pores as I sleep. Yes, I am sweating while I sleep.* “Why? How? Are you ok?” — are all reasonable questions to ask anyone, who just told you that they perspire an absurd amount whilst they slumber.
But here’s the deal: I sweat at night because it’s been so gosh darn cold this winter that I have been wearing layers upon layers of clothing at all times but especially at night, because you know, it’s colder when the sun goes down. But I am finding that two pairs of sweatpants over thermal underwear, a sweatshirt and a heat blanket is just too much. I’m comfortable as I drift off to sleep but I wake up tangled in my clothes and drenched in sweat. I don’t know if it’s at all related but I’ve definitely seen an increase of blemishes on my skin as well. Probably just a coincidence.
Anyways, in tonight’s list I offer a few suggestions for ending the horrible cycle of night sweats.
- Technical Gear — For Christmas a relative gave me some winter running gear. It might have been a hint that I need to take a little better care of my heart or maybe she foresaw my predicament. Anyways, you’ll be warm in the spandex-polartec blend and looking rather streamlined as you hop into bed. Pro: Sweat is wicked away from your skin. Con: The constricting design might hinder blood flow if worn for long periods of time.
- Sleep in the sauna** — So the KAC has a sauna. It’s very toasty in there. Unfortunately, the KAC closes at midnight or 9:00 p.m. most nights. So maybe switch up your sleep habits and take periodic power naps between classes. Pro: It’s a dry heat so you won’t break out, like you would in the steam room. Gross. Con: Extremely dangerous for your heart after about 20 minutes, depending on your cardiovascular health. [Ed. Luckily, 20 minutes is the ideal nap time].
- Snuggle with another person — Science and many movies tell us that the body heat from other person will keep you warmer than you would be if you slept by yourself. I haven’t looked at any data on this topic, so I can not confirm this phenomenon. Now, this one only works if you are able to locate someone willing to sleep in the same bed as you. Pro: Snuggle buddy. Con: Sharing a twin bed with another person.
- Sleep in a warm bath** — This is probably the least practical of my recommendations, but hear me out. If you are fortunate enough to have access to a shower that’s also a bathtub, try filling the tub up with very warm water, place a pillow behind your head and position yourself in the tub so that your body is completely submerged with only your head above the water. It is essential that you keep your head dry, for it will get cold after it becomes wet. It’s science. So yes, go to sleep once in the tub. Now, the water becomes colder over time. That’s normal and not reason for concern. What you need to do is set an alarm for every 15 minutes, give or take, and drain some of the water from the tub (or remove it with a pail) and add hot water to the tub. Do all of this without removing your limbs from the water. You will never reach REM sleep but you will be warm as long as you stay in the tub. Pro: No need to take a shower in the morning. Con: Possible choking and extremely pruney skin.
- Have your sweat glands removed and stop sleeping** — The most obvious option, but also the most dangerous. If you are not ready to commit to removing sweat glands entirely, try botox. I hear good things. Pros: You will accomplish so much now that you’re not sleeping and will be wrinkle free! Con: You no longer can safely engage in physical activity of any kind.
* I don’t sweat. I emit sweet lavender.
** Please, do not attempt.