Why Do I Get Hot When I Sleep?

Sleep is considered to be one of the most vital factors for the overall well-being of a human. Being overheated is a common barrier that many face when trying to get a great night of sleep. To help you improve your sleep, we’ve put together a guide on what causes you to get hot when you sleep and how you can solve the issue.

Why Do I Get Hot When I Sleep?

Naturally, our body temperature follows a specific pattern when it comes to the time of day. Scientific research has shown that the average human and animal body temperature begins to rise when you first wake up, leading to the peak later in the day. It then begins to decline in the evening.

However, discomfort truly begins if the body overheats when it is expected to be at its lowest. Several factors other than the natural cycle affect your body temperature. So if overheating at night is a serious problem for you then there are a few changes to pre-bed habits and routines that you can make.

Finding The Proper Temperature

In many studies, it has been found that the ideal temperature for humans and animals to sleep in is between 66 to 70°F (19 to 21°C). Although some people find it easy to consistently fall asleep easily, a vast group of people struggle to reach this temperature and comfortably find sleep. If you are part of this group, make sure to look out for these common issues.

Room Temperature and Humidity

  • High levels of heat and humidity at night cause sweat to increase and slow-wave sleep to decrease.

Bedding and Sleepwear

  • The type of fabric you wear to sleep is important, as the way heat circulates varies from fabric to fabric.
  • Similarly, different types of bedding insulate heat in unique ways.
  • Light bedding and sleepwear are recommended,

Activities Before Sleep

  • Vigorous activities which cause blood to circulate faster are proven to negatively affect sleep if done within one hour of bedtime.
  • Stress, in contrast to exercise, constricts blood vessels. This has been shown to increase the overall body temperature of a human or animal.
  • Consuming caffeine is a common night-time activity that not only causes the brain to be more active, but also increases core body temperature.

People You Sleep With

  • Bodies constantly release heat into the environment. So the smaller the area you sleep in, the more heat you will receive from the other bodies.

Additional Ways to Overheat

Sometimes the change is not always as simple as changing your nighttime routine, turning on the air conditioner before you sleep, or changing your bedsheet. Here is a list of more difficult issues to solve for those who get hot when they sleep.


Many drugs cause the temperature in your body to regulate abnormally including:

  • anticholinergics
  • beta-lactam antibiotics including penicillin and cephalosporins
  • carbamazepine
  • diabetes medication
  • Diuretics
  • Trusted Source (water pills), especially combined with angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors or angiotensin II receptor blockers
  • hormone therapy medications
  • methyldopa
  • pain killers such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or aspirin
  • phenytoin
  • procainamide
  • psychotropics
  • quinidine
  • SSRIs or tricyclic antidepressants
  • steroids such as cortisone or prednisone
  • drugs such as MDMA, ecstasy, cocaine


  • Stability in hormones is important for a great night of sleep.
  • Some effects that occur when there is an imbalance of hormones is night sweats or hot slashes as a direct result of high body temperatures.

Illnesses or Infections

Some conditions or illnesses that can lead to overheating at night include:

  • flu
  • strep throat
  • pneumonia
  • tuberculosis
  • other bacterial infections
  • colds
  • cancer
  • coronary heart disease
  • hyperhidrosis
  • hyperthyroidism
  • chronic stress

Steps to Solve the Problems

Fortunately, many of the problems can have quick solutions. These include:

  • Using a fan or air conditioning
  • Choosing lightweight and breathable fabrics
  • Keeping activity low an hour before bed
  • Allowing heat to circulate easily

This will solve a majority of the problems. However, if you are having issues with medications, hormones, or illnesses, it is best to contact a specialist or doctor.

The New York Sleep Specialist

If you have tried all of the solutions and hunted down all of the possible issues causing you to overheat at night and still experiencing discomfort, it is time for you to seek professional help. Luckily, Dr. Shukla, located in NYC, is the best sleep doctor you can find and will find a treatment to keep you cool at night.

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