Health / Expert Advice

Everything You Need To Know About Fever Dream

fever dream

What is a fever dream? Have you seen a very serious or confusing nightmare when having a fever? These vivid dreams are called fever dreams.. Sleep and dreams often go hand in hand, but they may not always be a pleasant experience. Your body temperature has a say in the types of nightmares or the dreams you see.

What Is A Fever Dream?

Fever dreams are nightmares or bad dreams that occur during high fevers. This occurs even among those who don’t get regular sleeping dreams. So let’s explore the interesting phenomena of fever dreams’ meaning and the science behind them!

In a study conducted on fever dreams in 2013, people were questioned about their high fever symptoms as well as their sleep and dreams. Apart from the usual signs, the respondents also mentioned that they had experienced weird and intense dreams or bad dreams during fever, reports Time magazine. 

They even claimed that the lucid bad dreams involved repeated actions and movements. Some reported that these vivid dreams kept shifting between a pleasant one and a bad dream when they had a high body temperature.  Bad dreams examples include instances where people had near realistic dreams of falling from a cliff, dreaming about a horror movie that you watched recently, etc.

fever dream

In another study conducted in 2016, also reported by Time, participants agreed with each other on the nature of their fever dreams compared to bad dreams examples during high body temperature. They accepted that these dreams were negative and left them more restless when they woke up as they could remember everything in specific detail, unlike regular sleep and dreams. The participants were able to understand what is a fever dream and a normal nightmare.

How Are Fever Dreams Different From Usual Bad Dreams?

The most important factor in defining fever dreams’ meaning and differentiating the two is the emotional intensity of the dream and how lucid it was while having a high body temperature. 

Fever dreams tend to be more emotional compared to regular bad dreams examples. They are realistic dreams that hover toward the negative side of the emotional dream spectrum. Sleep and dreams are easily affected by any change in your health, especially a spike in body temperature.

This is why you might wake up feeling even more drained and deluded after experiencing a lucid fever dream than from bad dreams examples.

What is a fever dream? The other component that separates the various types of nightmares, lucid fever dream from a regular bad dream is that in the former you are able to recall the dream in detail, unlike normal sleep and dreams. 

Examples of Vivid Dreams That Can Be Considered As Fever Dreams

Some of these dreams include feeling suffocated, walls caving in and crushing you, Kafkaesque creatures, etc. You might even wake up asking for help, certain that someone wants to harm you or kill you. That is how realistic the dream might feel when your body temperature is high. 

Seeing an unrealistic big dog that chases you to no avail, or being captured by terrorists, etc. are also other examples of lucid fever dreams during high body temperature. You could also see the same dream throughout your sleep. Fever dreams are linked to feelings of fear, stress, and restlessness. 

If you had a weird scary dream when going through a fever, then don’t worry. Turns out, you are just having a fever dream and they are not dangerous just like bad dreams examples. You no longer have to wonder what is a fever dream.

Although there are plenty of bad dream examples¸ fever dreams tend to be more personal. You may dream about past experiences, regrets, and so on when you have a high body temperature. With sleep and dreams being so closely related, a spike in your body temperature can lead to fever dreams.

Can We Prevent Fever Dreams?

While these dreams rattle our sleep and can be quite disturbing to wake up from, there is no single sure-shot way to prevent them. However, there are simple habitual changes you can do to manage them from occurring:

  • Control what you watch:

Sometimes the vivid dreams are a reflection of what you choose to binge-watch, and for how long. A good practice, especially when you’re sick, is to watch content that is not disturbing or graphic. You can also listen to soothing music or wind-down your shows early. 

  • Have a light meal before sleep:

Although light meals can’t control the types of nightmares you get, you can still try to ease into a night of calmer sleep. This makes sure your stomach is not upset or churning, making it easier for you to sleep.

  • Regulate your room temperature, noise and lighting:

In order to build an ideal sleeping environment, block out bright lights and dim your room’s lighting. The room should also be set at a comfortable temperature where it’s not too cold or too hot to sleep. Recommended temperature is at 19 to 22 degree celsius. Similarly, maintaining a quiet environment ensures that your sleep is more blissful.

  • Invest in a comfortable mattress and pillow:

A comfortable, cushioned mattress is non-negotiable for your sleep hygiene. This is why choosing the right mattress and a comfortable sleeping pillow for easy sleep is essential. This way, you enjoy a night of calm sleep, without tossing and turning, especially with fever. 


At the end of the day, you just need to remember that bad dreams will pass by once your body temperature returns to normal. So try not to get too worried about them no matter how realistic dreams might seem. The fever dreams or any sleeping dreams for that matter, are natural and you deserve to rest and recover in order to bounce back to your healthy self!

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