If you’ve ever woken up in the middle of the night soaked with sweat, you know how miserable the experience can be. There are many reasons that night sweats occur; medications or illness can cause them, as can hot climates, overindulgence with food or alcohol, or bedding that doesn't breathe, leading the body to overheat while sleeping. And, of course, some people are just naturally hot sleepers.
There are cooling products that help hot sleepers sleep more comfortably, but what about when you get out of the bed?
How to make a bed if you're a night-sweater
If you've ever been afflicted by a case of night sweats, you know that your sheets are not spared — sometimes they bear the brunt of the indignity of soaking-by-perspiration. And, ultimately, you can almost forget all about it by morning. But the one thing to keep in mind that next day is that there's a very specific way to make the bed that will help damp sheets dry and air out. And, it will give the bed a tidy appearance in a way that’s similar to a traditionally made bed.
1. Remove the pillows from the bed and turn the covers and top sheet, if using, back to the foot of the bed.
2. Pull the fitted sheet taut and re-tuck it.
3. Then, pull the top sheet and covers up to the top of the bed, smooth them, then fold them back on themselves halfway or two-thirds of the way down the bed.
4. Replace the pillows at the top of the bed.
A well-placed fan, too, can help sweat-soaked sheets dry out more quickly — and, of course, can help hot sleepers stay cooler during the night.
Washing sweat-stained sheets
Sheets bear the brunt of night sweats in another way: Over time, perspiration will stain or lend a dingy quality to sheets, especially white or light-colored sets. If you regularly suffer from night sweats, some adjustments to your laundry routine can stave off stains and the appearance of dinge.
- Wash your sheets weekly; the recommendation for frequency of sheet washing is every 1-2 weeks, but if you sweat in your sleep, aim for every week.
- Do smaller loads of laundry when the loads contain sheets, so that the drum of the washing machine is only half full, which will give water and detergent more room to move through the sheets for a more thorough cleaning.
- Use a laundry booster designed for stain elimination in addition to regular detergent.
Treating badly sweat-stained sheets
In the event that sweat has already stained an otherwise good set of sheets, there is a way to refresh them.
1. Prior to laundering, soak the sheets for at least one hour but no longer than overnight in a solution of 6 Tbsp. OxiClean to 1 gallon of water.
2. Wash as usual, opting for the extra rinse cycle if available to flush out any excess product from the soaking process.
With very little extra effort on your part, those sheets will come out of the wash looking almost brand new.