Hello Sauna-Slumber; Bye-Bye Cold!

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What do I do when a cold is coming on? I spend my night sauna-slumbering. Do I own a sauna? No! Then how, pray tell, do I pull it off? I set up my DIY version of a poor man’s, bedtime sauna. 

WARNING!!! What I’m about to describe is not for the faint of heart. It’s kind of messy, maybe a bit gross, and we recommend you seek medical counsel before giving it a go.

Now that we have that out of the way, the gory details follow.

Drawing the battle lines.

There’s a cold making the rounds, friends and loved ones have already fallen prey, and now it’s my turn. Nighttime has fallen, I feel those telltale cold-signs sneaking up on me, the early symptoms are emerging, but I’m not about to just take it lying down. No way! It’s time to battle back. So… I break out the sleeping bag, throw on an extra blanket, and settle in for a deep-sleep, sauna-style sweat-a-thon. 

Disgusting? You bet. Does it work for me? Sure does. The key is to hit it early, before those full blown, high-octane, cold symptoms settle in. If I time it right, I’ll wake up with those cold symptoms well on the run; maybe even completely gone. In fact, using this method I’ve snatched my health from the jaws of sickness many a time. But there is a downside: come morning, I’ll crawl out of that sleeping bag a sweaty mess. 

It really is like spending the night in a sauna, and that’s the goal. Somehow, someway, that sweaty night staves off the cold symptoms. I’ve searched for an explanation, but I haven’t been able to find a conclusive consensus on what makes it work. Some sources insist that it doesn’t work at all. That’s okay. I’m content in knowing from my own verified, personal experience that most of the time, a nice, deep sauna-sleep will relegate those cold symptoms to the pit of hades.

Battle prep matters.

It’s important to remember that overheated and dehydrated states can be dangerous. And being a sweaty mess can be unpleasant, so with that in mind, I take some precautions: 

  • I spend the night in nice cotton sleepwear to help absorb the moisture.
  • I take a good drink of water before hitting the sack, and I keep a supply of water within reach as my sweat-a-thon plays out.
    • All that water might compel an extra trip or two to the jakes during the night, but I can deal with that.
  • I make sure to keep the sleeping bag unzipped, so that if needed, my sleeping self can poke out an appendage for temperature control. (Even in the state of deep sleep, I find my body figures out how to make necessary temperature modifications.)
  • I make sure to use a sleeping bag and blanket(s) that are easy enough to throw into the machine for a nice wash-up when my ordeal is over.

Sweat equity.

I’m sweating, it’s wet in here and it’s going to get wetter, but so what?

And let me tell you, as messy as it sounds, it actually allows for a pretty good night of restful sleep. The trick is to completely surrender to the untidiness of the whole thing; to just give in and accept it. For it to work, I’ve got to be willing to say: “I’m sweating, it’s wet in here and it’s going to get wetter, but so what, I don’t care and I’m sleeping now.”   

Sleep to win.

It’s not a panacea. It only seems to work for colds. Also, if I don’t do it on the first night after my symptoms begin to emerge, I find it isn’t that helpful. Anytime I’ve tried it after letting a cold fully settle in, it just hasn’t worked that well. All that said, when it does work it’s golden. 

There’s something very gratifying about facing that cold head on, battling back, vanquishing the enemy, and then sloppily rising in the morning to triumphantly proclaim: “Though others have fallen, I stand victorious.”