What It Means When You Have Crazy Dreams During A Fever

A high body temperature can make your brain do crazy things.

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We've all experienced illness in the form of the flu or a cold. While sometimes these illnesses may be mild, other times they are accompanied by a fever.

While most of the time our fever will decrease with proper rest, hydration, and over the counter medication, there's a quite terrifying reality that some people may experience: fever dreams.

What is a fever dream?

A fever dream is when you have bizarre, frightening, and very vivid dreams that occur as a result of a real fever.


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The normal body temperature is between 97 and 99°F; when the body temperature is higher than 2 degrees above this range, this is a fever.

Though fever dreams are not nightmares — nightmares occur as a result of anxiety, whereas fever dreams occur as a result of your body's high temperature — they are often unpleasant or unnerving.


For example, you may dream about yourself on fire or see large creatures that are trying to hurt you.

What causes fever dreams?

While there are many theories as to why people have fever dreams, the exact cause is currently unknown. However, the biggest theory among researchers is that high body temperature disrupts the brain’s normal cognitive function.

As a result of the disruption, fever dreams are more bizarre than typical dreams you have. It's believed that fever dreams occur during the rapid eye movement (REM) stage of sleep due to their vividness.

According to one study, researchers said that “the 'overheated' brain is not functioning properly and, therefore, dreams are more bizarre.”


So, since your body is trying to fight hard against the high temperature, it can lead to disturbing dreams.

When do fever dreams occur?

Fever dreams occur when your body temperature is higher than normal. As mentioned, the formal body temperature is anywhere between 97 and 99°F, so anything higher than 2 degrees above your normal temperature is considered a fever.

You may experience a fever dream if your body is fighting a viral or bacterial infection, heat exhaustion, certain inflammatory conditions, medicines or antibiotics, or tumors.

When you’re sick, it’s likely that you will experience restless sleep and vivid dreams. However, fever dreams can occur without sickness in real life. They could also be triggered by an abnormal rise in body temperature that may come from sleeping.


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What is the spiritual meaning of a fever dream?

Spiritually, a fever means you are holding onto anger or are feeling lonely. However, a fever dream and the images seen in the fever dream can represent many things.

You might feel overwhelmed in certain areas of your life, have anger or resentment towards someone, feel like things are out of control, are neglecting to take care of yourself, feeling a lack of love, or that you're in need of emotional healing.

Fever dreams also represent worry and stress, the need to put your desires first, and that you will soon go through a significant change or transformation.


What does a fever dream feel like?

Most people describe a fever dream as negative experiences that are intense emotionally, quite strange, and sometimes very scary. Some have involved the physical feeling of being overheated and weak, whereas others included frightening appearances of creatures.

There is no set occurrence in each individual fever dream since everyone’s subconscious is different. Regardless, fever dreams are typically negative and bizarre, and have also been said to create hallucinations that feel like lucid dreaming.

Can you prevent fever dreams?

If you’re sick with a fever, there’s not much you can do to prevent your subconscious from running wild at night. But any attempts to regulate your body temperature will be helpful.

Get plenty of rest, drink lots of fluids, take fever-reducing medicines, eat foods that are easy to digest, and bathe in lukewarm water.


It’s important to remember that these dreams won’t last forever. And when you’re sick with a fever and experiencing unsettling dreams, find comfort in the fact that you’re not alone in having them.

Many people who are ill will experience these at some point in their life. It can be helpful to share your dreams with others to reduce the emotional impact and take away its power in frightening you.

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Isabella Pacinelli is a former contributor to YourTango, features editor for Ashland University's The Collegian, and freelance writer for Medina Weekly News. Follow her on Facebook for more.