Ask LH: Why Is My Body Temperature So High?

Ask LH: Why Is My Body Temperature So High?
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Hi Lifehacker, I have always been a hot, sweaty sleeper and my temperature is warmer than a lot of other people. I’m 175cm and 73kg, which I don’t think is overweight enough to warrant the cause. What can I do to reduce my body temperature? Thanks, Hot Stuff

Sweaty woman picture from Shutterstock

Dear HS,

Perception isn’t always reality. You might think your body temperature is hotter than others, but do you actually have any concrete evidence to back it up? Presumably you don’t walk around randomly administering rectal temperature readings on strangers. (At least, we hope you don’t.)

For example, it’s widely believed that males have higher body temperatures than females, which is supposed to explain why women are more likely to complain about the cold. However, scientific studies suggests otherwise: with the exception of some pregnant women, our body temperatures are extremely close.

There’s also a difference between core temperature and skin temperature. A healthy human’s core temperature typically hovers around 37 degrees Celsius, whereas our skin temperature is affected by the weather, clothing and sleeping patterns. It can range from a typical 33 degrees down to 25 degrees.

Our perception of warmth (or lack thereof) is generally linked to skin temperature. Therefore, it may be that your skin is more sensitive to heat than the average person. Unfortunately, there’s not a whole lot you can do internally to fix the problem. Instead of trying to reduce your body temperature through lifestyle changes, your best bet is to make some simple adjustments to your environment.

If you don’t own an air conditioner, here are five DIY alternatives that will help to keep her cool at night. Another possible solution is to moisten your body’s cooling points with cold water before bed.

Alternatively, you can always cool yourself off with some delicious homemade ice cream. This two-ingredient recipe takes little effort and doesn’t even require a machine to make. You can find plenty of other cooling tips via our Summerhacker tag.


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  • “You might think your body temperature is hotter than others, but do you actually have any concrete evidence to back it up?”

    Wow, Chris honestly couldn’t think of any likely way HS might know that they function hotter than a decent sample of other people!

  • I think it can be infered that HS doesn’t think that their core body temperature is actually higher than normal.

    Not to sound slutty but if you’ve slept with others you know that some people can be like lying next to a radiator in bed and some are like snuggling up to an icicle.
    Some need extra blankets and some don’t.

    I’m like you HS, I’m hot in bed (ok, enough sniggering).
    A few things I’ve picked up on over the years that might help:

    Try making your last meal of the day at least a few hours before bed. ie if you hit the hay at 8-9pm then last meal of the day 4-5pm.
    Digestion can keep the body working long into the night and increase sweating. Don’t snack between your last meal and bed time. It’s a recipe for restless sleep.

    Also cut down on fluid intake. With all the attention to “staying hydrated” these days we can tend to be “water fat” and our bodies can get rid of excess fluid at night through perperation. That’s a lot of “cans”. Common sense required, but if your not running marathons a little less can be more.

    Try less bedding than you are comfortable with. Although it doesn’t sound ideal, sleeping slightly colder than you prefer can stop the night sweats. It can take some test and adjusting to get right, maybe a blanket you use when you first get into bed till you warm up then throw off, layering thinner layers that can be used to adjust warmth rather than a single superwarm layer, etc. can help.
    It can be very difficult if you sleep with someone who likes different things but if you get it right it can reduce your night time discomfort appreciably.

    HTH, HS.

  • I tend to run hotter than most people, which has invariably meant women want to cling to you in bed, at a time you are trying your best to cool down.
    When everyone else is complaining about the cold, I’m wanting to make it colder.
    As you can imagine, with this physiology, living in Australia poses some challenges.

    Here’s what I do to keep cool at night:
    Have a long cold shower before going to sleep
    Alternatively, go for a dip in the pool for 10 minutes if you have one.
    Don’t dry off completely, let some body heat go into evaporating the mositure off your body, plus you’ll feel cooler.

    Put cotton sheets and pillow cases on your bed. By far the most effective in keeping you cool.

    Don’t drink any hot liquids or caffeine based drinks after 4pm

    Cool the room 30 mins before sleeping by putting on a fan or air conditioner.

    Have a damp cloth you can put on the back of your neck to keep your temperature regulated.

    On really hot nights, I will drape a lightly damp towel over my body instead of a sheet. My body heat dries it out quickly and I don’t get any chills from it, and it gets me to sleep.

    Use some or all of these to give yourself a good start to your sleep.
    Good luck !

  • I’m 174cm, and a couple of years ago I went from 86kg to 60. I hate to say it bud, but unless you’re incredibly muscular or your shoulders are 4 feet wide, you’ve got some weight to lose. I think you actually fall into the overweight bmi category even. Yeah I know you probably don’t think or feel that you’re that overweight, but you’d be surprised how much difference even 5kg can make in regards to feeling comfortable.

  • Check your thyroid function. One of the things the thyroid gland does is regulate the body’s temperature.

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