What is a Fever Dream?

Dreams are a fascinating occurrence, and we still don’t exactly know why we have them in the first place!

Some dreams are influenced by our everyday events, while others seemingly bear no connection to our real life. 

Many factors can affect our sleep, including stress, diseases, drugs, and even the food we eat. In addition, certain bodily states such as a fever can also affect the types of dreams we have. So what is a fever dream?

Here, a fever dream meaning a dream that occurs during a probable infection is experienced when pyrogens like lipopolysaccharides stimulate your immune cells. The body temperature rises while you’re asleep, and so you experience the fever dream.

Do you want to know all about fever dreams, why they occur, and when people get them? Read on, and you’ll find everything you need to know about them.

What Is A Fever Dream?

You might be wondering what is a fever dream exactly? Well, according to most, the exact fever dream definition is: It’s a type of vivid dream that occurs when your body temperature is above 100.4°F (38°C).

Although they are called “dreams,” they are more comparable to nightmares. A study found that amongst people who experienced fever dreams, 93.5% of them stated the dreams were disturbing.

The body’s core temperature rises abruptly during a fever to ward off pathogens and infections. The temperature rise is the immune system’s response to fight against invading pathogens.

The increased body temperature helps slow down the rate of proliferation of bacteria inside the body.

According to some experts, because of the fever, the brain becomes overheated and does not function normally. Hence the dreams experienced in this state may be more unpleasant and disturbing.

Many even report waking up from a fever dream feeling extremely lethargic, confused, and irritated. Some even reported feeling remarkably hot after having a fever dream.

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When Do We Get Fever Dreams?

Normal sleep cycles last for roughly 90 minutes and usually occur 4 to 6 times a night. Dreams can occur at any phase of our sleep cycle, but most recallable dreams occur during the REM (Rapid Eye Movement) stage.

The Non REM stage of sleep is much more tranquil and takes up about three-quarters of the total sleeping period. REM stages of sleep take up the remaining time in each sleep cycle, during which brain activity is at its highest.

During an episode of fever, our immune system is making its stand against pathogens. The hypothalamus, the part of the brain responsible for temperature control, sets off an increase in the core body temperature.

This increased core temperature in the body can lead to disruption of normal sleep. As a result, you may have fever, dreams, and insomnia. 

Additionally, people who are down with an illness sleep more often to rest up. The increased number of sleep cycles increases the probability of a fever dream.

What Do Most People Experience In A Fever Dream?

The term fever dreams is a misnomer, and they should be called fever nightmares as they are usually disturbing.

Because of the raised core temperature you get during a fever, you are more likely to get intense nightmares. 

Some people have reported having dreams related to fire. This could be due to the raised temperatures subconsciously affecting the parts of the brain responsible for sleep. A burning sky is often a typical scene in such dreams.

Fever dreams, much like lucid dreams, are easily recallable. Many people who experience fever dreams can remember the entire dream vividly. The whole sequence of events and even minor details are easily recollected in some fever dreams. 

They may occasionally have a theme based on recent stressful events and disturbing memories. Many fever dreams are also reported to come to an abrupt end, leaving a sense of dizziness and claustrophobia behind.

How Is A Fever Dream Different From A Lucid Dream?

Lucid dreams and fever dreams have some things in common. Both are often easily recallable, and both occur during the REM stage of our sleep cycle.

That’s where the similarities end, though. Lucid dreams have no relationship to fever. Lucid dreams are also at times controllable, while fever dreams are not.

Additionally, fever dreams are almost always like nightmares and carry negative emotions, while lucid dreams often don’t.

Lucid dreaming can also have some benefits; you can train yourself to get lucid dreams and be used as tools to overcome fears. You can even use them to aid in therapy. Sadly fever dreams carry no such benefit and serve no purpose other than being intense nightmares.

Can You Stop Fever Dreams From Occurring?

Fever dreams are less than a pleasant experience, and naturally, you would prevent them from occurring if you could. Sadly there is no actual scientific evidence that states that you can do anything about them.

Logically speaking, though, they occur during a fever and because of a fever. It stands to reason that the best way to prevent fever dreams from happening is to prevent a fever from occurring or at least try lowering your core temperature if you already have one.

To reduce a fever, you could try:

  • Taking an antipyretic ( an OTC is a fever-relieving drug) such as Tylenol or Advil.
  • Drinking plenty of fluids.
  • Resting as much as possible.
  • Taking a sponge bath or a lukewarm water shower.
  • Try eating chicken soup or broth.

The Final Verdict

Fever dreams are an unpleasant experience but not dangerous and only temporary. They leave as soon as your fever goes down and aren’t something to worry excessively about.

Although there is no guarantee that you can prevent fever dreams from occurring in the first place, you could try to take proper measures to avoid falling ill with an infection and fever. 

Wash your hands often, carry a hand sanitizer, and avoid touching your nose, eyes, and face. These are some of the steps you could take to prevent getting ill unnecessarily.

If you already have a fever, bringing it down might also help in preventing fever dreams.

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