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For Find Out Friday - Why Am I Such Hot Stuff in Bed?


I am hot stuff. 

Usually I am the hottest one in any room and I mean that literally.

While other folks are shivering, I want to put the air conditioner on. Otherwise my face starts to turn red and I am instantly uncomfortable. 

As I have said many times before, I suffer from a neurological condition called chronic migraine disease and this is a large reason why the F I feel so hot all of the time. Another reason is because of global warming and the inconsistent nature of mother nature. 

But my question for tonight’s Find Out Friday is a more personal question I have been thinking about lately; why do I get so hot while I am sleeping?

I can go to bed freezing, that is once I open a few windows in the dead of winter, yet still wake because I am unbelievably hot. 

It is really annoying. I feel compelled to start tearing off items of clothing so that I can return as fast as possible to slumber. As an insomniac anything that bothers my sleep bothers my soul.

So what is the deal?

We all know that our body temperature fluctuates during the day depending on our activity and the temperature around us, be it inside or outside. Some like myself are more prone to be hot. But no matter our body does a great job of maintaining our core temperature of 98.6 degrees to keep us healthy, provided we are not ill causing our temperature to rise.

That being said it is a different ball game for us all at night. 

During our evening rests we all go through five stages of sleep, beginning with NREM sleep until the last stage where we enter actual REM, the deepest, darkest depths of sleep. These stages repeat themselves about four to five times during the night depending on how long we are asleep for.

The reason for this quick science refresher class has to do with how we feel while we sleep. The technical term is thermoregulation. In an article I read about thermoregulation in humans I learned much more than I ever dreamed (pun intended) there was to learn about this topic. 

In order not to butch up the information I just read I will directly quote the most fascinating parts.
  • “Humans have two zones to regulate, their core temperature and their shell temperature. 
  • The temperature of the abdominal, thoracic, and cranial cavities, which contain the vital organs, is called the core temperature. 
  • Core temperature is regulated by the brain. 
  • The shell temperature includes the temperature of the skin, subcutaneous tissues, and muscles, and it is more affected by external temperature. The core is able to conserve or release heat through the shell.
  • The 2 pm slump isn’t just an excuse dreamed up by cubicle workers – it’s a real phenomenon. In the mid-afternoon, your body starts to lower your body temperature to prepare you for sleep. At 5 am, a few hours before waking up, you’re at your lowest body temperature (96.4 degrees).
  • During the normal human circadian rhythm, sleep occurs when the core temperature is dropping.
  • A cooler core body temperature is associated with sleep. 
  • Conversely, a warmer core temperature is energizing. 
  • In relation to sleep cycle, early birds experience an earlier body temperature peak than night owls do. 
  • The temperature of both the brain and the body fall during NREM sleep.  The longer the NREM-sleep episode, the more the temperature falls.
  • During REM sleep, your brain stops working to regulate your body temperature. Even the hypothalamus needs a break.”
In order to read the article in its entirety please see the third link below.

Sleep experts (I don’t know how you become one but I am looking into that for us next) recommend setting your thermostats to about sixty-five degrees before climbing into bed. Like most aspects of life this is a personal preference. I sleep better when I feel cooler and I would like my thermostat to be set at fifty degrees all of the time. However I do not live alone and no one else in my home shares this sentiment with me.

Provided you are not ill, getting warm while sleeping is perfectly normally. But if you are suffering from other symptoms you would be surprised what feeling warm while sleeping could be trying to tell you, especially if you don’t have the flu. I recommend reading the second link below and then speaking with your doctor.

For now I am going to think cool thoughts and in several hours when I make my way to bed believe that it will be a good night for some really restful rest. 

However, if that plan fails and I do wake up hot again in the middle of the night, I am taking my temperature, purely for scientific purposes. Then I will try not to be annoyed but revel in the fact that my body is doing what nature (or God as this is Easter weekend) intended. 

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