Nine subjects were studied for 16 days in an isolation unit where they lived on normal time, working at a decision-making, computer-driven task during the daytime. Interspersed among these control days were three occasions when sleep was curtailed. Rectal temperature and activity (non-dominant wrist) were measured throughout. Any effects of sleep loss on core temperature and activity were assessed by comparing these variables on control days with values during the daytime immediately following sleep loss, and during the next (recovery) day. During the daytime following sleep loss, activity showed no significant changes. By contrast, core temperature was significantly lower, particularly after the night of complete sleep loss. On recovery days also, activity was not significantly changed from control days but core temperatures during work were significantly lower than on control days if there had been no sleep the previous night. These results indicate that the effects of sleep loss on core temperature can persist for at least 24 h, and that they occur in the absence of parallel changes in activity.