Why Do I Wake Up So Hot In The Mornings?

What happens to your body at night?

Did you know, your body uses changes in temperature to help it get ready for and to stay asleep? Your circadian rhythm, or internal body clock, helps to manage your sleep and wake cycle. It does this by using hormones to lower your temperature in the evening helping you feel sleepy. It raises it again in the early hours to encourage you to wake. While these changes go unnoticed by many, unfortunately for some, this increase in temperature can lead to waking up feeling hot.

What’s more, this rise in temperature can be exacerbated by other things. Just a slight increase can disrupt your body’s circadian rhythm meaning you’re waking up hot and sweaty in the morning and feeling tired and out of sorts the next day.

Why do I wake up sweating?

If you find yourself suddenly waking up drenched in sweat in the morning it pays to try to work out what’s causing it. Here are some of the reasons you might be waking up feeling hot and sweaty:
  • Hot flashes associated with perimenopause and menopause can disrupt sleep. Sufferers suggest they often feel worse at night, sometimes waking up drenched in sweat – particularly as their body temperature rises in readiness for morning. Find out more about the menopause and night sweats.
  • A cold or fever may lead to your temperature increasing as your body fights to rid itself of infection.
  • Certain drugs, such as prescribed antidepressants and other psychiatric medications, can lead to high temperatures at night as well as night sweats.
  • Pregnancy can disrupt your body’s temperature regulation processes due to the high levels of estrogen in your body. This can leave you more sensitive to those early morning temperature increases, leaving you waking up hot.
  • Certain medical conditions can affect the hormone levels in your body, once again disrupting your sleep/wake cycles and temperature regulation. Thyroid disease and some cancers are among the culprits, but it’s important not to jump to conclusions. If you can’t find a plausible reason to explain why you’ve started waking up at night sweating, or if you are at all concerned, make sure you contact your physician for advice.

How can you help your body to regulate its temperature better?

So, we’ve learned that body temperature regulation is important for a good night’s sleep and to help you avoid waking up covered in sweat and overheating in the morning. But what can you do if you’re regularly waking up hot and sweaty?

First, keep your bedroom nice and cool - since your body recognizes a dip in temperature as a signal to ready itself for sleep, a cool room could be beneficial.

Second, create the perfect sleep environment. Find out why you should avoid choosing a memory foam mattress if you’re prone to waking up hot, and choose bedding that can actually support your body in regulating its own temperature.

Breathable wool bedding is a great choice to help you avoid waking up hot and sweaty. Naturally thermoregulating, the beauty of wool is that it can help you to cool down naturally when your temperature spikes overnight. And with the added benefit that it wicks away moisture too, you should find you get a much more settled, and much drier, night’s sleep.

For more about night sweats and other conditions that can affect sleep, visit our Sleep Health & Advice hub.

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