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Feeling Chilly While You Sleep? Here’s How to Fix It

by BetterSleep
Apr 29 2022 • 4 min read
Last Updated on Sep 25 2022

Have you ever woken up feeling cold or shivering due to chills? Night chills aren’t pleasant, but they’re normal and common — up to a certain point.

In fact, there are many reasons someone might deal with night chills. Some you may not even be aware of. But all of these problems have solutions and different ways you can counteract feelings of coldness.

This means that just because you deal with body chills at night doesn’t mean you have to be stuck feeling this way. You can take steps to deal with these feelings and create an environment that keeps you at the perfect temperature for sleep.

Are you interested in learning more? Keep reading to discover the many reasons you might experience a low body temperature at night, whether it’s something you should be concerned about, and how you can avoid it.

Why Do I Wake Up Cold?

Waking up with shivers is common, but it doesn’t always happen for the same reasons. Several factors and health conditions can change your internal body temperature.

First, it’s important to understand what happens to your body when you sleep. According toWeb MD, your body temperature is 1 to 2 degrees lower while you sleep compared to when you’re awake (the average waking body temperature varies between 97°F (36°C) to 100°F(38°C).

Throughout the night, your body loses heat to help you stay asleep andsleep better. So, when you wake up suddenly during the night, your body will have a lower temperature than you’re used to feeling.

However, other factors can make the cold feel worse in some people.

Anemia is a common condition caused by a lack of iron. While the most common symptom of anemia is fatigue, some people will also experience cold sensations.

Some vascular diseases can cause you to feel colder than usual at night. That’s because vascular diseases affect your blood vessels. For instance,Raynaud’s phenomenon decreases blood flow to the fingers, toes, nose, and other body parts. Because mammals are warm-blooded, decreased circulation can make you feel cold.

Other factors, like hormonal changes and medicine, can also cause chills. For instance,people going through menopause may get hot flashes and cold flashes.

Finally, having a fever can cause mild to intense chills.

Don’t hesitate to contact your doctor if you believe you may have a health condition causing you to feel cold. They may suggest fever-reducing medications to help you figure out the underlying cause behind your cool core temperature at night.

What are the Causes of Night Chills?

You experience chills when your core temperature drops. This can happen for many reasons. As we mentioned, cool temperatures and sickness are just a few causes of night chills. Some other health conditions that might cause you to shiver or even experience cold sweat include:

  • Hangovers
  • Panic attacks
  • Drug withdrawal
  • Low blood sugar
  • Bacterial infections
  • Cancers such as leukemia
  • Menopausal night sweats or hot flashes
  • Viruses, including ones that cause the flu

It’s said that two in three people get chills while put under general anesthesia for surgery. The adrenaline from a traumatic event may also cause chills, and psychological trauma, like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD),  may also create chills and shakiness.

Overall, there are a host of reasons you might experience night chills. Unless you know you might be dealing with a certain condition, it’s more than likely a result of a cold room.

If you’re concerned you may be suffering from a condition, visit a healthcare professional to get a proper diagnosis so you can learn the next best steps to take.

When Should I be Concerned About Chills?

Nighttime chills are something a lot of us deal with. In saying that, it’s not something, you should be overly concerned about. As long as you take proper precautions to fix the situation and see results, there should be no concern.

If you change the temperature and comforters of your room and still don’t see an improvement in night chills, it might be wise to visit a doctor or health care professional.

A healthcare professional will look into the frequency and severity of your nighttime chills and night sweats. From there, they might ask about other symptoms you’re experiencing and recommend a diagnostic test to rule out certain conditions.

How to Avoid the Chills During Sleep

If you’ve ruled out a fever or other health issues, here are some ways to keep warm and avoid the cold at night.

  • Considerwearing socks to bed: Wearing socks to bed can help you regulate your temperature and improve your circulation, but make sure to choose a clean, breathable pair that isn’t too tight.
  • Try a comforting warm drink before bed: Drinking a warmbedtime beverage can help you stay warm a little longer. Make sure to avoid caffeinated or sugary drinks.
  • Choose your bedding and sleepwear accordingly: Warmest isn’t always best if you want to avoid getting cold. If you get too hot, you’ll get soaked, making you cold later on. Choose a breathable, moisture-wicking material like bamboo, merino wool, cotton, and linen. Use flannel instead of fleece to add warmer layers.
  • Bring a hot water bottle to bed: Keep a hot water bottle under your blankets to keep your bed warm as you sleep.
  • Have extra blankets nearby: Fold some blankets you can layer on top of you if you wake up feeling chilly at night.

Knowing the other factors that could influence and create nighttime chills is important. Pay close attention to your room temperature. There’s evidence that suggests that the best temperature to keep your room at for the best sleep is 65 degrees Fahrenheit.

But this isn’t something universal. It’s important to process your personal data. Try experimenting with room temperatures, as one person’s needs may be different from your own. Once you find that sweet spot, you can maintain your room temperature to avoid night sweats and chills.

You might also see some benefits from taking your temperature before bed. If you discover that you have a high fever, you may have an infection or another condition that’s causing chills.

Overall, the first step is always understanding the reason why you’re experiencing chills at night, to begin with.

It could be your room temperature or maybe a lack of layers. Viral infections and other infections may be the cause. Or it could be hormonal fluctuations. You might experience chills for many reasons.

Regardless of the underlying condition causing it, getting to the root of your issues is key in taking the next steps to manage settings in your room and finding a solution.

Why am I hot then cold at night?

When you have an experience where your body is constantly going from too cold or too hot, night sweats to chills; you may have an infection.

In this case, your best course of action is to work to fight off your infection and keep your body temperature cool if you do have a fever. Always work on diagnosing night sweats or cold sweats as they may result from more serious issues.

What’s the Effect of Coldness on Sleep?

A decrease in core body temperature is normal as you approach your bedtime. It coincides with the release of the sleep hormone melatonin. Both work together in an intricate system known as the circadian rhythm.

Ideally, a cooler core body temperature is supposed to help with sleep onset. And our body naturally makes itself cooler through a process called vasodilation (we touched a bit on this earlier). During this process, the body cools itself down by sending heat away from its core. And this is the reason you may notice your hands and feet are warm before bed.

Despite all this, a cooler temperature could negatively impact your sleep. In one study, participants found that their sleep was more affected by cool temperatures rather than warm.

You should have a slightly cooler environment for sleep, but if you’re experiencing chills, your environment or core body temperature is likely too cold. And on the other side of the spectrum — if your sleep environment is too warm, you might experience night sweats.

Both situations can create an uncomfortable sleep environment, and they can create restlessness. Overall, making it difficult to fall asleep and get a good night’s rest.


So many factors go into sleep, including our core body temperature. Our temperature should drop slightly in a perfect world to help with sleep onset. However, some situations might make this more troublesome and difficult to happen.

Whether you’re experiencing an illness or your room temperature is too cold, you can take steps to counteract these underlying issues that create chilliness and even night sweats.

You can work to fight your infection or take steps to warm up (or cool) the room temperature.

Regardless of your path, it’s important to identify the main cause of why you feel cold or experience nocturnal sweating.

Once you do, you can take the proper precautions and steps necessary to create a more comfortable sleep environment.

No matter the temperature, start falling asleep faster (and stay asleep longer) by trying the BetterSleep app. You cantry it tonight for free and choose from hundreds of soothing sounds, meditations, bedtime stories, and music tracks that help you unwind and relax before bed.

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