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Original Research ARTICLE
A fever dream is a term used to describe vivid dreams you have when your body temperature is elevated. A dream is essentially a series of thoughts, images, and sensations you have while sleeping. Scientists believe you have your strongest dreams during the rapid eye movement REM stage of sleep. Anything higher than 2 degrees above your normal temperature is considered a fever. You might develop a fever because your body is responding to:. Most people describe fever dreams as a distressing experience.
In addition to a large variety of somatic symptoms, fever also affects cognition, sleep, and mood. In an online survey with participants, fever dream reports were submitted. Future studies should follow up this line of research by conducting diary studies during naturally occurring febrile illnesses and sleep laboratory studies with experimentally induced fever. It would also be very interesting to study the effect of thermal stimulation applied during sleep on dream content. This research helps to understand subjective experiences while sleeping in an extreme condition elevated body temperature. Fever is an elevation of body temperature that exceeds the normal daily variation and is based on an increased hypothalamic set point Dinarello and Porat, In addition to symptoms such as headache, malaise, lack of appetite, and other sickness-related disorders Ogoina, sleep might be disturbed Powers et al. Drake et al. An actigraphy study Smith, b , however, monitoring 15 participants suffering from a common cold, found only small or no significant sleep disturbances; only those persons who reported nasal obstruction as a major symptom had reduced sleep efficiency.
Our dreams intrigue us, especially the bizarre — dreams with no connection to real life. Dreams are said to be inspired by our memories, interests, events, and day-to-day activities. Michele currently leads a 4-bed, hospital-based sleep disorder center in Florida, which is also home to one of the largest sleep apnea support groups in the nation. In a fever, we see symptoms like high body temperature, aches, chills, sweating, and sometimes bizarre dreams. NREM is the more peaceful phase of sleep and takes up about 75 percent of sleep time, while the remaining 25 percent is spent in REM sleep. Dreams may occur during any stage of sleep, but we are more likely to remember the ones that we experience during REM. During this stage of sleep, our eyes move rapidly behind closed lids while having vivid dreams. Our brain is also responsible for the natural thermoregulation of our body heat, particularly the hypothalamus, but during REM, temperature regulation is not as efficient as during the day. When we have a fever, our body is fighting an illness. Elevated temperature is known to cause sleep disturbances like insomnia, or fever dreams.