Shivering and Sweating at Night

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Shivering and Sweating at Night

During the night, your body uses its own heating and cooling mechanisms to keep your temperature in a healthy range. But the sensations that come with this natural "thermoregulation" can make it hard to sleep peacefully.

When your temperature rises, your body produces sweat that is meant to cool you down as it evaporates off your skin. If the air, your mattress, blankets, or pajamas keep you too warm, you might find yourself damp and uncomfortable. And if the room is too humid, sweating may not even cool you off, since the air is already saturated. On the other hand, if temperatures get too cool, this will produce a shiver, in which your muscles contract and expand rapidly to produce heat. Both of these automatic processes can happen without our conscious knowledge and they tend to make for restless sleep. For ideas on managing temperature, see tips for sleeping with hot flashes and cooling the bedroom.