During the night why are my legs so warm?
June 9, 2005 6:59 AM   Subscribe

I'm a 50 year old male who, over the past two or three summers, has had my sleep disturbed by frequently waking up with what seems like abnormally warm legs and feet, even when the bedroom feels cool. What's going on? Is it a consequence of aging? Any thoughts about what can be done about it would be appreciated.
posted by TheManticore to Health & Fitness (7 answers total)
Without any other background, that's a wide open question. How is your health, in general? How well did you sleep prior to this? Are you over-weight? Are you experiencing shortness of breath?
My best guess (IANAD) would be some kind of circulatory problem. If I were you, I'd go see a doctor. It may be an early symptom of something heart related.
posted by doctor_negative at 8:09 AM on June 9, 2005

My health's good. Normal blood pressure. Exercise regularly. I've always been a light sleeper though.
posted by TheManticore at 8:17 AM on June 9, 2005

In this case, I'd strongly suggest you not AskMeFi but AskYerDoc.

At the very least, the continued disruption to your sleep will create a medical problem for you, and the warmth in your extremities could indeed be a circulatory problem that you very much need checked out.

Although I've received some of the wisest answers in my life from AskMeFi, very few of us are qualified to answer this question for you, and I don't think this is a case where the "wisdom of crowds" principle would work in your favor.

Note this Ask MeFi thread for general cooling down tips, though.

Better safe than sorry -- go get yourself checked out.
posted by WCityMike at 8:55 AM on June 9, 2005

Have you confirmed that your legs/feet are actually warm by touching them with your hands? Or do they just feel warm when they're actually cold? Confused or lost sensation in the extremities is one of the early sign of diabetes. Who knows if that's your problem -- as others have said, go see your doctor.
posted by randomstriker at 9:42 AM on June 9, 2005

I too can think of a couple of other potential explanations -- I third the AskYerDoc approach.
posted by peacay at 10:03 AM on June 9, 2005

I'm having trouble finding it at the moment but I could swear there was an earlier AskMe question, "Why am I so hot in bed?" The replies might give you some ideas.

Argh! Why can't I find it?
posted by Alylex at 5:56 PM on June 9, 2005

In Neurology clinic, this symptom frequently heralds a peripheral neuropathy. The most common cause of this is diabetes, which you indicate you don't have (or don't know you have.)

In bed under the covers is when the dysesthesias from neuropathy are felt most strongly, because there's a stimulus on the affected part (the sheets) and there's nothing else going on to distract you.

It's impossible to say if that's what's going on with you without a physical exam. I can't tell how much this is bothering you, but if it's more than a very little bit, I think AskYerDoc might be the way to go.
posted by ikkyu2 at 7:33 AM on June 10, 2005

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