Many women report having more vivid dreams during pregnancy and that seems to be related to a myriad of factors – hormone shifts, increased sleeplessness, and wakefulness. Many mothers report that their dreams become more vivid and life-like during pregnancy. Some women who never remembered their nightly dreams before may find they are able to clearly recall dreams now. Other women will experience lucid dreams where some level of interaction with, or control over the dream is possible.
The dreams during pregnancy may be more frightening and scary with thoughts of something being wrong with the baby, with their spouse, or with themselves. Other nights an expectant mother may experience lovely dreams that calm and relax her. Some women even have dreams about their baby. All of these changes are normal and some pregnant women will experience all of these changes within the same pregnancy.
Common Themes of Dreams Throughout Pregnancy
The themes, symbols and dream experiences can often change throughout the months of pregnancy.
- Early Pregnancy Dreams: Early in the pregnancy, when the mother first finds out she is expecting, it is common to dream about symbols of fertility. These dreams may include themes of gardens, plants, flowers, seeds, water in many forms (streams, rivers, the ocean, rain), or the moon.
- Mid-Pregnancy Dreams: Around the second trimester of pregnancy, when a woman begins to show, the dreams often center around baby themes. Some women report actually dreaming about their baby, either seeing the infant in the womb, or dreaming of future events like holding the baby. Other women dream about baby-related things like puppies, kittens and other baby animals; baby items; and newly sprouted plants.
- Late Pregnancy Dreams: In the last few weeks of pregnancy a woman often begins to feel more uncomfortable and thoughts of her coming labor fill her mind. These restless feelings can be reflected in her dreams if she experiences recurring nightmares or dreams of having to do a lot of work.
What Causes Pregnancy Dreams?
Several factors act together to produce the more vivid and memorable dreams a pregnant woman experiences.
- Pregnancy hormones keep a woman from sleeping as deeply as usual. As a result, she spends more time in REM sleep (the sleep state of dreaming) than she did before pregnancy.
- During pregnancy a woman wakes more often throughout the night, increasing the likelihood of waking during a dream-state, and thus remembering the dream.
- A pregnant woman is often more introverted, with a myriad of thoughts and emotions occupying her mind. An increase in intuitive behavior is also common, as a pregnant woman seeks to become more aware of her body in general.
Speaking of Sleep Cycles
Did you know that in the third trimester your baby has developed many of the attributes and expressions that an adult has? He has regular sleeping and waking cycles, which most mothers are growing accustomed to. During his sleeping cycles, your son experiences REM, or rapid-eye-movement, sleep stages during which scientists think he is actually dreaming just as we do during our REM stages of sleep.
Are you experience strong and vivid dreams during your pregnancy? Are they about anything specific?