Abstract Many studies have demonstrated a decline in core temperature during slow wave sleep (SWS) in animals and humans. However, there are few studies that have investigated core temperature fluctuation during rapid eye movement sleep (REM) at different ambient temperatures. This study examined the effects on core temperature of continuous hot or cold exposure during sleep. Ten male subjects were exposed to hot and cold stress from 00 h to 1:00 h, when SWS is most predominant, and from 5:00 h to 7:00 h, when REM is predominant. Rectal temperature (Tr) and tympanic temperature (Tt) were monitored for 3 days, and polysomnographies (PSG) were recorded from 23:00 h to 7:00 h. The experiments lasted 3 weeks for each subject, over 2 consecutive nights each week (including an adaptation night and an experimental night). On the experimental night, subjects were exposed to hot (29°C) or cold (21°C) ambience. The core temperature fluctuation under the hot or cold ambience were compared with under the thermoneutral ambience. Under hot ambience, Tr declined significantly in the first 2 hours of sleep, but Tt did not change. In the last 2 hours, both Tr and Tt were significantly elevated. Under cold ambience, both Tr and Tt declined significantly in the first 2 hours. However, in the last 2 hours, neither Tr nor Tt showed any change. The result that Tr and Tt rose in hot ambience during the last 2 hours when REM is predominant suggests that body temperature during REM is influenced by ambient temperature.