December 10, 2023

Fever Dreams

Sick Woman Sleeps Covered With a Blanket Lying in Bed With High Fever and a Flu, Resting at Living Room. She Is Exhausted and Suffering From Flu With Cup of Tea, Medicaments and Tissues

In multiple studies, sleepers describe their fever dreams as bizarre, negative, and emotionally intense.

What is a Fever?

A fever is a sign of inflammation, one of the body’s potential responses to infection or illness. Generally, the standard human body temperature is about 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. Fevers are an elevated body temperature of around 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or greater.

What is a fever dream?

Fever dreams are vivid, often bizarre or unpleasant dreams sleepers experience when they have a fever. Although they can occur during any stage of sleep, most vivid dreams happen during REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. The exact causes of fever dreams are still unknown; however, elevated brain temperatures could disrupt the brain’s normal cognitive processes.

Some specific aspects of fever dreams can include:

  • Spatial Distortion– moving walls, objects melting, and spaces changing size were the most common type of dream in one study of fever dreams
  • Threats or Danger– many fever dreams contain threats form objects such as from insects, terrorists, dogs, stones etc.
  • Illness– types of illness in dreams many vary, some dream about illnesses such as respiratory distress, pain, and vertigo.

Nightmares and Lucid Dreams

Nightmares may stem from anxiety, stress, or trauma. These frightening and unsettling dreams could also be sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea or narcolepsy; nightmares can impact sleep quality. During a lucid dream, the dreamer becomes aware they are asleep; some even experience control over their dreams.