Dreams at night are common phenomena that most people experience, but when you are sick, those dreams are particularly vivid and scary. Especially during the pandemic, when falling sick with a high fever is common, these intense dreams can be quite upsetting. These are called fever dreams. You may have heard about it and never really known about it. But it is a real thing that people experience and to those who don’t know what is a fever dream, here’s all about a fever dream so that you are prepared for it when you have it.
What is a Fever Dream?
Coming to the question of what is a fever dream, it is a bad, vivid, unpleasant, or bizarre dream individuals experience when they have a fever. These are connotations that are negative and get triggered when the temperature of the body increases at night. Normal body temperature at night can reach up to 99°F from the normal 97°F, and anything above 2 degrees higher is considered a fever. Now that you know what a fever dream is, you should also know that it is different from normal dreams or even bad dreams examples as they happen only when you are sick or have a high fever.
How does a Fever Dream Occur?
Sleep and dreams are highly associative, and with the knowledge of what is a fever dream it is now essential to know how a fever dream occurs. Although there is intrigue and bewilderment about sleep and dreams, there is enough research done to differentiate between the various types of dreams.
A fever dream, too, like the other bad dreams, happens during the REM (Rapid Eye Movement) stage. As per research, it is proven that brain activity is high during REM sleep and is believed to be at the same level as during wakefulness. That is the reason dreams always occur during the REM stage.
Natural thermo-regulation happens by the brain and it increases the body's temperature as a response to fight infections or illnesses. The hypothalamus, a small section of the brain, is responsible for the spike in body temperature to fight the pathogens. During the REM stage, when vivid dreams occur as the body is having a tough time controlling the temperature, the brain is overheated and does not work properly, leading to more bizarre dreams. A fever dream may also trigger confusion and irritability and sometimes cause hallucinations.
What is a Fever Dream like?
Now that you know what a fever dream is, the next logical question that comes to mind if you haven't experienced one yet is what is a fever dream like? For most people, it is a highly disturbing experience that happens during high fever.
A study on people with fever dreams described it as very negative. Many said that it was a frightening experience, bizarre and emotionally intense. A fever dream can cause different negative emotions in people; with some people unable to recollect their fever dream, while others can recall it even after many years. There are a few aspects of a fever dream that differ from normal dreams. Some examples of bad dreams are as follows:
- Threats or dangers from stones, insects, dogs and even terrorists.
- Moving walls, changing sizes and objects melting.
- A few people also dreamt about illnesses like respiratory distress, vertigo and pain.
Also Read: Top 5 Remedies for Keeping Fatigue at Bay
Can we Prevent Fever Dreams?
Despite knowing what a fever dream is, there is still not a single solution to the aspect of whether we can prevent fever dreams. Besides taking medications to treat fever, people do sleep and bad dreams can still occur. But small changes to your sleep routine when you have a high fever can help you with sleep and bad dreams. Here are a few tips to help prevent a strange dream when you are sick:
- When you are sick and are at home, it is highly recommended that you avoid binge-watching your favourite shows on TV. To prevent a strange dream, rest as much as possible and reduce screen time too much of it puts the brain in overdrive and makes the process of recovery difficult.
- Dusty and dry conditions can irritate your nose and make it difficult to sleep. To improve the air quality, use a humidifier that adds more moisture to the air and makes sleeping better. That way, an occurrence of a strange dream is less.
- One of the important tips to prevent fever dreams is to have easily digestible foods. When you are sick, it becomes hard to sleep, and when you have a heavy meal, it becomes tough to digest the food and causes sleep disturbances. So it is best to have a soup or healthy food that can keep you full and sleep better.
- Block unnecessary light and disturbing noises out of your bedroom, especially when you have a fever, so that you sleep in a better environment, though it may not be an answer to - can we prevent fever dreams?
While you may have learnt about what is a fever dream, know that there is no ultimate solution to preventing fever dreams or even bad dreams. However, there are less chances of a strange dream when you have a high fever, when you get sufficient sleep and drink enough fluids as sleep and dreams go hand-in-hand.
Authored By: Divya Shankar
About Author: Divya Shankar is a multifaceted content writer with 7+ years of experience. She has exclusive writing expertise in ayurveda.