Being sick is one of the worst experiences in human nature. Feeling miserable can affect every aspect of your life. To make matters worse, some symptoms even affect your sleep. Have you ever experienced a vivid dream while sick? This is known as a fever dream. No, not the Netflix movie by Claudia Llosa. A fever dream is something many people experience. But, why? Is your body trying to tell you something important? Many believe that dreams are a way for our minds to communicate with us. Specifically, a fever dream can cause intense dreams. This can affect your sleep cycle and sleep quality. There may be some important facts you need to know about fever dreams.
What Is a Fever?
The Mayo Clinic identifies a fever as a temporary increase in your body temperature. The elevated body temperature will generally go away within a few days. But, fevers cause discomfort and other displeasing symptoms. Symptoms may include sweating, chills, and muscle aches. You may also experience a loss of appetite and general weakness.
Your hypothalamus, a part of your brain, is responsible for controlling your body temperature, and a change in your temperature can be the result of several different health conditions. Generally, you can measure your temperature with a thermometer. Parents can also usually check for warmness by touching their child’s head and face. If it feels warmer than usual, it is time to get your thermometer.
Fevers aren’t generally a cause for concern but your specific temperature and age can have an effect. Adults with a temperature of 103 degrees or higher need medical attention. Babies 3 months or younger with 100-degree temperatures can be a major cause for concern. Additionally, children with 102-degree temperatures will need medical care. A high fever in adults and children can be a sign of something major.
Fevers are a way for your body to fight off illness. The high temperature of your fever is working to kill an infection. But, your body working hard doesn’t make the symptoms easier to handle. Sweating and discomfort are common symptoms of a fever. But have you ever experienced the strangeness of a fever dream?
What Is a Fever Dream?
The American Psychological Association identifies the term fever dream as a bizarre and emotionally intense dream. These strange dreams are also often negative. Vivid dreams that happen while you have a fever can occur during both REM (rapid eye movement) sleep and non-REM sleep. Shockingly, sleep studies have shown that your brain is almost as active during REM sleep as during your awake hours. These facts require us to consider the importance of dreams. Dreams can have a true purpose in our lives, even while you are sick.
Why Do We Dream?
Dreams are the images, thoughts, and scenes that play out in our minds while we sleep. Dreams range from simple to intense. You may not even remember your dreams at all. No one knows for sure why we dream. Researchers have been debating the purpose behind dreams for a lifetime.
Some would argue that dreams are a way of confronting our emotional issues. Understanding and dealing with the emotional intensity in our life is important. Others suggest that dreams help with creativity and inspire creative work among artists. Dreams may also be a way for us to access our memories. Old memories have a way of resurfacing at interesting times. Focusing on these dreams and memories may help us to understand ourselves better. Many suggest that the reason behind dreams is a combination of all of these factors.
The most famous person to discover dreams, Dr. Freud, began his research in the late 1800s. His book, The Interpretation of Dreams, was the first of its kind. It provided theories on dreams and how to interpret your dreams. He stated, “The interpretation of dreams is the royal road to a knowledge of the unconscious activities of the mind”. Understanding your dreams creates an understanding of yourself. Freud argued that our dreams are our wishes for our life. Learning to interpret these dreams can help explain their meaning. So can the bizarre dreams induced during a fever tell you something important? Possibly!
It is important to discern what your dreams are about when identifying if they mean anything. Sometimes we dream about our past school days. Struggling through a test in a dream may mean you feel unprepared for something going on in your life. What about dreams of infidelity? Dreams like this can feel like an omen for what is to come. But, they are more likely to mean you are experiencing the same feelings as previous issues. Something may be stealing too much time and this stressor can come out through your dream!
No matter the reason behind our dreams, we need to recognize their importance. Even a strange fever dream can point to something array in our life. We need to consider what our mind and subconscious are trying to tell us.
Who Remembers Their Dreams?
Polls suggest that only one in ten Americans consistently remember their dreams, while 34% of Americans remember their dreams only sometimes. This can make analyzing your dreams difficult. If you are someone who doesn’t remember your dreams, you may need to take some extra steps.
Studies show that personality and brain makeup can both affect your ability to recall dreams. The creative personality trait is a characteristic of dreamers. Those who dream and recall their dream content may experience more feelings of anxiety. But they are also open to new experiences. Understanding both your anxiety and willingness to explore is important. This can impact your dreams and how those dreams are analyzed. Trust your mind to guide you to your inner most feelings.
How does the makeup of your brain affect your dreams? It depends on the amount of white matter vs. grey matter in your brain. Researchers found that people who frequently remember dreams have more white matter than grey matter in the prefrontal cortex. Brain connectivity may be important for dream recall. In addition, more white matter can promote having more dreams.
Dreaming differences can also be dependent on your gender. Women have higher dream recall frequency and have a wider variety of dreams. Women experience more nightmares and emotional dreams. Author of The Dream Whisperer, Davina Mackail, states, “Research has shown female hormonal cycles can affect dreams”. It’s crazy to imagine your hormone levels having an impact on your dreams. Yet, studies show this is accurate. Even more, pregnant women are known to experience wild dreams. Imagine the dreams of a fever-stricken pregnant woman!
If you are able to remember your dreams or not, they are still important. Some dreams help you understand your day-to-day life. Remembering your vivid dreams could be important to understand your subconscious. Your temperature and your dreams are increased during a fever. It is possible that both are trying to tell you something!
Ways To Analyze Your Dreams
The first step to being able to analyze your dreams is to remember them. This process can be tricky. Sleep and dream expert, Raphael Vallat suggests that even the noise of your alarm clock can disrupt you enough to forget your dreams.
Consider getting a dream journal. Dream journals are a way to record your experiences in your dreams. Dream journaling works best if you write about your dreams as soon as you wake up. Pay close attention to specific objects or locations in your dream. These factors may be key pieces of information. Record even your regular dreams. If nothing seems to stand out right now, it may in the future. If you have difficulty writing your dreams, you can also draw them. Drawing details of your dreams may be easier. It can help you to make sense of what happened. Consider paralleled experiences. When you are done writing what happened in your dream, see if there is anything this makes you think of? Was there an incident in your childhood that is bringing similar feelings to something happening now? These experiences may be a way for your brain to communicate bigger issues. Additionally, think about the “characters” in your dream. Your relationship to the people in your dream may be important. These people and your relationship with them can reference something bigger. You are the person in charge of your dreams and who makes it on screen.
You can also consider telling someone about your dreams. Telling a trusted person can help you think through the reasons behind your dreams. Talking it out can help to resolve any unsettled feelings. It can help you to cope with and discover your feelings.
There are many common dreams we all face. Ever have a dream of your teeth falling out? This could be related to the difficulty you have speaking to someone or about something. There are also many dream dictionaries available online. Dream dictionaries can help you to further analyze specific symbols in your dreams. For example, if you dream about an eagle it may be a symbol or power. This could be a power of freedom to do new things and achieve your goals. Recognizing these symbols can give you confidence and make you feel secure in your life.
The most important aspect of analyzing your dream is to reflect on your feelings. We often get bogged down with our day-to-day life that we don’t consider the issues that pile up. Reflecting on our feelings allows us to let go of small daily tensions.
Why Should I Analyze My Dreams?
Ever notice how a good dream or bad dream can affect your day? A good dream can make you feel strong and optimistic about what’s coming. A bad dream can be unsettling and bother you throughout your day. Unwrapping your dreams can give you a better idea of how you really feel about certain topics. Creating a good process for reflection can lead to a healthier life.
Further, dreams can keep us honest! Psychology Today suggests that dreams are not random. Even strange dreams are important to analyze. Everything you dream about has a purpose.
Consider the possibility that dreams are a way for your brain to communicate with you. If you ignore your dreams, you could be ignoring something important. Dreams can let you play out different scenarios in a safe environment. Exploring what your dreams mean is a way to access your subconscious.
Dream Analysis is also a technique used in therapy. This can be especially beneficial for nightmares. Mental health issues can be addressed through techniques such as image rehearsal therapy. This allows the dreamer to rewrite upsetting dreams and chronic nightmares. This can help with a sleep disorder you face.
Analyzing your dream can and will help you analyze yourself. Focusing on your physical and mental well-being is essential to your health. Dreams can cause major disruptions in our quality of sleep, but also in our day-to-day life.
Types of Dreams
Once you have figured out a process to remember and analyze your dreams, you may need to categorize your dreams. From daydreams to nightmares, we experience many different types of dreams. Each type of dream is working to tell us something different. Putting your dreams into categories can help you to discover what your dreams are trying to tell you.
Recurring dreams happen when you have the same dream or a similar dream. This type of dream is most likely trying to send you a message. Even an intense fever dream can be a recurring dream. This is a way for your subconscious to alert you to something important.
A nightmare is the worst kind of dream! Nightmares cause a range of unsettling emotions such as fear. You may feel powerless or afraid of something. Analyzing this type of dream can help you overcome a fear.
There are also lucid dreams. Lucid dreams allow you to take control of what is happening in your dream. You also recognize that you are dreaming. Lucid dreaming can be very effective in allowing you to control what happens. This type of dream may be a normal dream with nothing major happening. But, controlling your dreams can be a great way to overcome any situation that may be bothering you.
Each type of dream is an effective form of communication with your subconscious. Focusing on what your dreams may be telling you is a great way to self-reflect. Your mental health is just as important as your physical health. Taking the time to address your feelings and concerns is essential to your well-being.
Analyzing Fever Dreams
Dreams that happen while we have a fever or fever dreams can be the most absurd type of dreams. Some suggest that the temperature of your brain may be the reason behind your bizarre dream. As a higher temperature is the main symptom of a fever, the relationship is likely.
Fever dreams have become even a bigger topic with the outbreak of COVID-19. Many people report having a fever dream while infected. Some even report waking hallucinations. These dreams can cause recurring childhood dreams or even nightmares. A recurring childhood dream may be caused due to the extreme weakness many feel during sickness. Oftentimes, sickness leads us back to a time when we were taken care of by a caring parent or loved one. A recurring childhood dream can be our subconscious recognizing the need for care. When we feel at our lowest, we need those around us to give us attention.
These intense dreams can cause concern and affect the sleep cycle for many people. This could hinder recovery. Some may try to skimp out on sleep due to fever dreams. The best way to recover from sickness is lots of rest and fluids. You need your sleep, fever dream or not.
If a fever dream is causing you a sleep disturbance, there are steps you can take. To prevent fever, get control of your body temperature. Taking a cool bath may help to fight the heat. You will need plenty of fluids and any medicine recommended to you by your doctor. Many medicines such as ibuprofen or aspirin can help bring your temperature down. These tricks will help you to prevent fever dreams.
While the effects of a fever dream can leave you uneasy, it is still important to analyze them. All dreams have a purpose. Considering what your mind is trying to tell you even at inconvenient times is essential. There could be some deep-seated issues that need to resurface. Taking control of your dreams can help you take control of your life. Recognizing bad dreams and solving these issues can improve your sleep quality. Dreams serve a purpose. We need to recognize the emotional intensity that sits below the surface. By analyzing what dreams are trying to tell us we can find the root of many of our problems. Dreams can positively impact our real life if we take the time to understand what they are trying to tell us.