Average Body Temperature

This page illustrates important information with respect to Average Body Temperature in both males and females (no noticeable differences noted between genders). Covering these average “normal” temperatures is complemented through the discussion of fever temperatures, hyperthermiahypothermiaBasal (or resting) body temperature, and the body’s core temperature.

The findings of measurements taken on various parts of the body are summarized in the following chart. It should be understood that these values are simply guideline values, and there is no single value that should be utilized as a ‘normal’, healthy body temperature. It is also clear in the following chart that different parts of the body have differing temperatures.

Body Region MeasuredAverage Temperature
Core (Deep Organ)37 C (98.6 F)
Oral – Under Tongue36-37.5 C (97 – 99.5 F)
Rectal34.4-37.8 C (94-100 F)
Tympanic Cavity35.4-37.8 C (96-100 F)
Axillary35.5-37.0 C (96-99 F)

Rhythms in Temperature

There are definitely fluctuations in body temperature throughout the day, and it has been proven through multiple studies that the highest body temperature occurs in the late afternoon (4:00-6:00 PM), and the lowest levels during the deepest stages of REM sleep (4:00 AM).

Average Fever Temperature

A fever temperature situation occurs when the steady temperature of the body is raised. During normal operation, the human body is working to keep internal temperatures at a specific set point, roughly around 37 C (96.8 F), as shown in the chart above. When these core temperatures are elevated to a large enough degree for a long enough time period, a fever results.

The average body temperature of a newborn baby is 99.5°F.

The temperature of an infant is higher because they have a larger surface area relative to their ideal body weight. Their bodies are more metabolically active, which produces heat.

Hypothermic & Hyperthermic Temperatures

A hyperthermic situation, or more commonly Hyperthermia, occurs when the body absorbs or generates more heat than it can effectively dissipate through traditional means (sweating, etc.). This build-up of excess heat results in a significant elevation in body temperature, often uncontrollably so.

A hypothermic reaction is the opposite – namely, the body loses more heat than it can effectively generate – Hypothermia. This results in often uncontrollable drops in body temperature. Hypothermia can be deliberately induced as medical treatment if deemed appropriate.

The following chart illustrates the temperature levels for each of these conditions:

ConditionOccurring Temperature (dangerous)
Hyperthermia (hot)40 C (104 F)
Hypothermia (cold)Drops by 1-2 C (1.8-3.6 F)

Basal Temperature

The body’s Basal Temperature is also known as the ‘resting’ temperature. As discussed before, this lowest resting temperature generally occurs during the deepest level of sleep and occurs at around 4:00 AM. Magnitudes vary on an individual level.

About Jessica J

Article Reviewed by Jessica J, M. D. Dermatology. Follow me on Pinterest & LinkedIn.

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