In order for the body to carry on its functions, it needs energy. This energy is obtained through the process of combustion. The fuel for the combustion is the food we take in. The result of this combustion in the body is not, of course, a fire or big heat. It is a mild, exactly regulated warmth. There are substances in the body whose job it is to combine oxygen with the fuel in an orderly, regulated way.
The body maintains an average temperature of 98 6 degrees Fahrenheit (37 degrees Centigrade) and this temperature is always maintained. This is done by a center in the brain, known as the temperature center, which really consists of three centers: a control center that regulates the temperature of the blood; one that raises the temperature of the blood when it drops; a third that cools the blood when the temperature is too high.
What Happens If The Blood Temperature Drops?
Part of the nervous system is stimulated into action. Certain glands send out enzymes to increase oxidation in the muscles and liver, and the internal temperature rises. Also, the blood vessels of the skin contract, so that less heat is lost by radiation. Even the tiny glands found on the surface of the skin help by sending out a fatty substance that prevents body heat from escaping. Shivering is automatically activated by the temperature of the blood dropping too low. The heating center of the brain makes you shiver in order to produce heat!
If the temperature of the blood rises, the cooling center goes to work. It dilates (opens up) the blood vessels of the skin so that the excessive heat can be eliminated by radiation, and perspiration can evaporate more easily. Perspiration is a quick method of cooling off for the body. When a liquid evaporates it takes heat from wherever it is located.
Why Does My Body Get So Hot At Night?
If you’re a woman, your hormone levels may be fluctuating. Before and during a woman’s menstrual cycle, sweating increases especially at night. This is due to hormone level swings and a slight body temperature elevation that occurs naturally. During menopause, hot flashes and night sweats are common side effects.