Have you ever had a dream that is more vivid and stranger than usual when you are under the weather?
Referred to as a fever dream, this odd fever symptom can happen when someone is battling an illness. But what causes fever dreams? And are there steps you can take to prevent them?
What causes a fever dream?
First off, there is still a lot that scientists don’t understand about dreams. However, it is widely thought that health conditions, foods and certain daily activities can all influence what dreams you have.
Additionally, researchers believe that during deep sleep, also known as the rapid eye movement (REM) stage of sleep, people’s dreams are the strongest.
As the name suggests, fever dreams occur during a fever. While experts don’t know for sure, the speculation is that a high body temperature causes the brain to overheat. An overheated brain can impact cognitive processing, thus leading to crazier and more vivid dreams.
Plus, during the REM sleep stage, your body has a tough time regulating its internal temperature. Add a fever into the mix, and it can strain this process even more.
There have been limited studies on fever dreams, but most people say they are negatively toned. Typical descriptions of fever dreams include stressful, emotionally intense, strange and even scary.
What can I do to avoid having a fever dream?
Seeing as most people have unpleasant experiences with fever dreams, it makes sense why you would want to take steps to avoid them. Getting rid of your fever is the best way to reduce the chances of having a fever dream. However, your fever breaking is typically a waiting game.
So, what steps can be taken to prevent strange dreams when you have a high fever? While there is still no sure-fire way, here are some ideas to consider:
- Manage your fever with pain medicine. First, talk to your primary care provider about which type of medication to take.
- Drink plenty of liquids. Staying hydrated is one of the best ways to fight a fever.
- Get plenty of rest. Sleep is another great way to fight fever as it helps strengthen your immune system.
- Eat healthy foods if you can. Also, try taking a lukewarm bath to help level out your body temperature.
Learn about the primary care and sleep medicine services we offer at Bon Secours.