Have you been experiencing a lot of strange dreams lately? Perhaps you have dreamt about walking around naked in front of a crowd? Maybe you have dreamt that you have given birth to a chipmunk or even a fish? Though these dreams may be strange, rest assured they are a very common occurrence during pregnancy. In fact, the majority of pregnant women report an increasing number of vivid dreams throughout the three trimesters of pregnancy. But why do these vivid dreams occur so frequently during pregnancy and what can you do about them?
Pregnancy is a time of many changes, both physical and emotional. From morning sickness to breast tenderness, mood swings to constipation, the changes often seem limitless when it comes to pregnancy. And one of the biggest changes that pregnant women notice is an increase in their number of dreams. You may notice that you experience an increase in all types of dreams, including:
- joyful dreams
- anxiety dreams
You may also notice that your dreams appear to be more detailed than normal, and are filled with fantastic colors and more vivid features than prior to pregnancy.
Are Pregnancy Dreams Normal?
Though these vivid dreams can often be confusing and even frightening, it is entirely normal to experience a large number of dreams during pregnancy. There are a variety of reasons that can help explain this dramatic increase in dreams:
- Pregnancy Hormones: Throughout your pregnancy, your body pumps out a variety of different hormones, including progesterone and estrogen. It is thought that these hormones affect the way we sleep at night, causing us to experience longer periods of REM sleep. It is during REM sleep that our minds begin to dream.
- Increased Waking: Pregnant women are much more likely to wake up during the night than women who aren’t pregnant. Whether you have a leg cramp or a backache, you may find that you wake up several times every night. When your body wakes up from a deep sleep, it has better dream recall than it would had you slept through the night. This means that you may be experiencing more vivid dreams simply because your body is better at recalling them.
- Pregnancy Anxiety: Pregnancy is a time of distinct changes, many of which are scary and overwhelming. You probably have a number of anxieties over becoming a parent: for instance, you may worry how you will handle having a baby and if you will be a capable mother. Our subconscious mind often works through these anxieties while we are sleeping, in the form of dreams.