The body temperature during sleep

A normal body temperature at night is crucial for restful sleep. Here you can find out how our body temperature influences sleep and what tips you can use to prevent night sweats or freezing.


  1. The body temperature at a glance
  2. The body temperature during sleep
  3. This is how sweating and freezing damage sleep
  4. Tips for an optimal body temperature at night
  5. Conclusion

1. The body temperature at a glance

In order for us to function healthy and normally every day and for all metabolic processes in our body to run smoothly, we humans need a certain body temperature. In a healthy adult, the normal core body temperature is usually between 36.5 °C and 37.5 °C, the temperature at the surface of the skin is approx. 28ºC - 37ºC.

However, our body temperature never remains constant and is subject to completely natural fluctuations of up to 1 °C - depending on the time of day, state of health, activity level or hormonal status. Our brain is therefore constantly busy regulating the core body temperature, adapting it to internal and external circumstances and ensuring that we neither overheat nor overcool.

For example, it increases when exposed to intense heat, physical exertion or in certain phases of the female cycle, so that we remain efficient despite increased energy consumption. If, on the other hand, we come to rest and relax, the metabolism and body temperature will also be reduced again. To prevent overheating or hypothermia, the body can take certain countermeasures - we sweat to release heat through the skin or shiver to generate heat through muscle activity.

2. The body temperature during sleep

smartsleep Schlafmagazin Schwankung der menschlichen Körperkerntemperatur am Tag und in der Nacht

Sweating or freezing at night wakes us up! More than a third of all people report that feeling hot and cold disrupts their sleep. In the evening, body temperature naturally drops slowly and is at its lowest between 2 and 3 a.m. before slowly rising again in the morning. When we fall asleep, the less important body mechanisms shut down: muscle activity, blood pressure and heart rate drop, we need less oxygen and our breathing slows down. Veins and other blood vessels expand, which releases heat and also decreases the surface temperature of our body at night.

3. This is how sweating and freezing damage sleep

When we sweat profusely or feel cold, our body kicks in to regulate internal temperature and prevent overcooling or overheating. This already has a negative effect on the process of falling asleep in the evening and makes it more difficult to sleep through, for example because we push the covers aside at night or try to warm up or cool down in some other way. And excessive sweat production at night can also disturb sleep, since the accumulated moisture on the skin quickly creates an uncomfortable sleeping climate.

So if the body temperature fluctuates too much during the night and as a result we have trouble falling asleep or wake up frequently, the important deep sleep and REM sleep phases also suffer and we don't find any really restful sleep.

4. Tips for an optimal body temperature at night

With these simple measures, you can help to keep your body temperature in a healthy normal range over the course of the night, so that you can sleep well and your body can regenerate optimally during the night.

#1 The right sleeping environment

The bedroom should be neither too hot nor too cold so that our body can lower its core temperature naturally and prepare for sleep. The generally recommended ambient temperature is therefore between 16 °C and 18 °C. Especially when in summer there are high outside temperatures or in winter the heating is wrong, you should try to regulate the bedroom temperature through sufficient ventilation and the right heating settings and to ensure a good sleeping climate.

#2 Suitable sleeping textiles

smartsleep Schlafmagazin Schöne Frau schläft mit gesunder Körpertemperatur

Your sleeping accessories (pillows, blankets, mattresses) and your sleeping clothes have a direct influence on the surface temperature of the body and the perception of heat or cold at night. To avoid heat or moisture build-up, you should make sure that the duvet and clothing are not too warm or too tight. Nevertheless, you should not completely do without clothing or a thin duvet, so that you are protected from cold drafts, heat and sweat can be wicked away from the skin and a normal body temperature can be maintained. You can read here which material is best suited for your bed linen in which situation.

Tip: pillows & duvets made of special cooling and heating fibers can effectively support the body in regulating body temperature.

#3 Relaxing evening routines

Strong physical activity requires high energy expenditure and boosts circulation and metabolism, which also leads to an increase in body temperature. Therefore, you should avoid strenuous activities or extensive sports sessions in the last hours before going to bed, so that you can get enough rest in the evening and support the natural regulation of body temperature during sleep.

#4 The right diet in the evening

Our nutrition also has an impact on sleep and body temperature. At best, avoid heavy meals and foods high in sugar and caffeine in the evening and ensure moderate alcohol consumption. Constantly strenuous digestive processes and the stimulating effect of sugar, caffeine & Co. keep the body active and prevent the core body temperature from dropping. Cold drinks also promote heat generation in the body and even make us sweat even more.

#5 The best tips for sleeping in summer and winter

Spring, summer, autumn and winter – our sleeping conditions change with the seasons. So that your body temperature does not suffer from a bad sleeping climate, you should also adapt your sleeping habits to the ambient temperature.

In this article you will find out which simple measures will help you to sleep peacefully and restfully even on hot summer nights.

And we've captured the best tricks for a relaxing winter night here for you.

5. Conclusion

  • The normal adult body temperature is 36.5 to 37.5 °C and varies by up to 1 °C depending on the time of day, health status, activity level or hormonal status.
  • A body temperature that is too high or too low at night can make it difficult to fall asleep, prevent sleeping through the night and significantly reduce the quality of sleep.
  • Make sure you sleep in a cool environment and use duvets, bed linen and sleeping clothes that are adapted to the sleeping situation so that the core body temperature is regulated naturally and not by external influences.
  • Before going to bed, avoid strenuous exertion, hard-to-digest and stimulating foods that keep you active and thus promote a high body temperature.

Greetings and see you soon!

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