Last night I dreamt that I participated in a trail race. I was running on a very tough and steep trail. It was such a long and demanding event that I woke up drenched in a pool of sweat! I'd like to consider this dream as a cross training session and want to add it as an entry in my running log. How many calories are burned while running in a dream? - Dream Weaver
There are numerous intelligent studies which have been conducted on the subconscious mind and the physical state of the human body lost within the realms of REM sleep. Fortunately, you've chosen to come to me with your question, and although I'm not a sleep therapist, I do sleep every night thus making me uniquely qualified to read your letter and write a response.
It's somehow important for you to know that I'm typing this response on a QWERTY keyboard whilst sitting here in my sub-basement office of the 150 story Run The Planet Corporate building, sipping an ice cold glass of milk and contemplating the best possible answer to your question.
Each keystroke that I'm typing requires an exertion of 0.2 joules of energy, the amount of work completed with the exertion of 0.048 calories. If you consider that, thus far, I'e typed just over 1200 characters (with spaces) then you'll find I've burned a full 57.6 calories!
Stick with me here, this gets a little complicated.
If you consider that a person burns approximately 140 calories for every mile she/he runs, then it's easy to calculate that I've burned the running equivalent of 0.4 miles, thus far, in this literal effort to answer your question.
When we sleep, we actually burn about 77 calories per hour. At best, studies have shown that we spend roughly 20% of our sleep time dreaming, which is about 90 minutes a night. The application of simple algebra yields a solution of 115 calories burned during the typical night's sleep, the equivalent of running 0.8 miles.
If, as you say, you woke up "drenched in sweat", I'd strongly recommend a chemical analysis of the sweat rather than attribute its production to any physical effort. Were you sleeping with the window open? Does your house have a roof? Is it possible that evil roommates chose to set off a pesky fire suppression system in your bedroom? There are many alternate possibilities to consider, in isolating the origin of your sweat drenching.
Or, it could have been a "physical dream".
It's generally accepted that there are six different types of dreams. They are, the insight dream (those that provide explanation or resolution of an important issue in your life), lucid dreams (those that we are aware we are dreaming in), precognitive dreams (those that convey insights based on things that your conscious mind does not perceive), review dreams (those of introspection), gratification dreams (those that satisfy our unfulfilled desires) and physical dreams (those with physical effects that linger beyond our sleep).
What you've experienced is clearly a physical dream where the brutality of the trail race has manifested itself in a physical response from your sleeping, sweaty, body.
While I admire your strict scientific adhesion to the "write it all down" rule of good running log recording, I'd encourage you to ignore the daily life cycle calorie burning measurements from each and every bodily function you perform. Activities such as bagel chewing, nose picking, teeth brushing, restful breathing and especially rapid eye movement all require measurable work, which can be converted into calories burned, but if you think the summation of this information is going to be helpful to you in the long run... well, quite frankly: you're dreaming!
Run long and taper.