How Can Body Temperature Effect Sleep?

body temperature and sleep

If you’ve ever woken up in the middle of the night overheated, sweaty and kicking off the covers or cold, shivering and reaching for a blanket to keep warm, you know all too well how body temperature can affect your sleep. But did you know that in addition to keeping you comfortable, your body temperature plays an important role in helping your body figure out when it’s time to go to sleep and wake up? Body temperature and sleep go hand-in-hand in regulating your circadian rhythm.

What’s a Circadian Rhythm? A circadian rhythm is a 24-hour cycle of physical, mental and behavioral changes. This rhythm, or “body clock,” tells your body when to sleep, wake up, eat and other physiological processes, and is affected by such factors as sunlight, body temperature and lifestyle habits. Normal body temperature is, of course, the standard 98.6 degrees. Throughout the 24-hour cycle, your body temperature goes up and down slightly — rising during the morning and through the afternoon and gradually dropping. An hour or two before you head off to bed, your core temperature naturally drops giving you that groggy, tired feeling and cueing your body that it’s time to enter the sleep cycle. Sleeping in an environment that’s too cold or too hot interferes with our bodies’ ability to reach the optimal body temperature for sleep which leads to tossing and turning, difficulty falling asleep and waking up throughout the night.

Things You Can Do While your body clock runs naturally, there are things you can do to help it reach and maintain the ideal temperature. Medical conditions such as certain cancers, hormone disorders as well as menopause can interfere with your body’s ability to regulate temperature. Maximizing your sleep environment can greatly improve your chances of getting that restorative sleep you so desperately need. For those who endure night sweats, wearing sleepwear that works throughout the night to wick moisture away can work wonders. The secret is a specialized fabric that feels silky-soft, and effectively draws moisture away from the skin and into the fabric where it evaporates. To keep your body temperature in check and put an end to waking up several times throughout the night, try sleeping on temperature-regulating sheets, mattress pad, pillows and pillow cases. Our bedding works by regulating your body's temperature by absorbing heat and moisture when you get too warm and drying quickly.