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How Does Pregnancy Affect Your Dreams?

Updated April 12, 2020

When you are expecting, you experience many new things, and there are a lot of new changes physically as well as mentally. Among these changes, there are several hormonal changes that can affect other aspects that you might not have considered.

One such change is how pregnancy can affect your dreamscapes. Many women discover that when they are pregnant their dreams change. These changes can be different depending on the individual however mostly dreams become more vivid or intense and there can even be an increase in nightmares. There are many reasons why these changes in dreams occur during pregnancy.

Changes to dreams during pregnancy can include:

  • Vivid images
  • Anxiety based scapes
  • Remembering what your dreamed more frequently
  • Experiencing more intense scapes
  • Dreaming more frequently
  • Increased nightmares

Let’s look at some of these changes in more detail.

Vivid dreaming

pregnant female sleeping on her side

Dreaming is a normal part of everyday life apart from being pregnant so many people have vivid dreams normally as well. However, the frequency or intensity of these vivid dreams can increase during pregnancy. These vivid dreams are generally clearer, more emotionally intense and can be difficult to differentiate from reality. These dreams can feel like the events occurring in them are actually happening.

Although these vivid dreams can happen to anyone, it seems that pregnancy can stimulate more of these types of dreams. This is in comparison to fuzzy dreams that you cannot put together or barely remember, these dreamscapes feel like reality. You might way up and need a moment to distinguish them from reality.

Overall more frequently dreaming

Many pregnant women claim that while pregnant they tend to dream more frequently. Although, there is no scientific reason to claim why they may dream more frequently.  But it is possible that they may be having more dreams within the 8-hour sleep cycle, or the increase in dreams could also be due to sleeping or napping for more hours during the day.  This is due to the fact that pregnancy causes fatigue, resulting in more sleep and the more you sleep, the more likely you are to have dreams.

Anxiety based dreamscapes

It’s no surprise that while you might be excited about the arrival of your baby, you may also be slightly apprehensive and nervous. Pregnancy dreams can be one of the biggest gateways and manifestations of your emotions and thoughts.

These dreamscapes can provide some insight regarding your fears and anxieties. This can include worries about managing the newborn with other children, financial issues, working with a newborn and many others. You may also be anxious regarding the delivery and labour process.

When you have a lot going on and it is on your mind for a while, these thoughts can then manifest themselves as your dreams.

Remembering them more frequently

During pregnancy, it often becomes easier to recall your vivid dreams. Prior to being pregnant maybe you did not recall your dreams often or maybe you even though you didn’t dream at all. However, the experience during pregnancy can be immensely different due to enhanced recollection of your dreams.

Increased nightmares during pregnancy

Why do people dream of scary things? Similar to having anxiety-based dreams and excitement, nightmares are based on emotion and can increase during pregnancy. These pregnancy nightmares are quite common and studies show that they are linked to your emotions.

These can occur due to your fear or anxiety that something might happen to the baby or could be regarding the labor and delivery of your baby.

The nightmares can be in many different forms. You might dream of losing your baby, of a miscarriage or of dropping the baby, and many other scenarios. Although these types of dreams are normal they can be quite distressing.

What are the possible causes of changes to dreamscapes during pregnancy?

pregnant female sleeping on her side

Changes to dreams during pregnancy have many different possible reasons. However, the most likely reason is due to hormonal changes that occur when you are pregnant. The fluctuation of hormones that occurs when you are expecting can have a great impact on your body.

It is due to these hormonal changes that women experience mood swings during pregnancy as well. So if you experience mood swings such as being upset over small things and then forgetting about it, you would not be the first pregnant person to go through that.

As these hormonal changes can make your emotions more intense they can have a similar effect on your dreadreamscapes ms as well.

In addition to this the hormonal instability during pregnancy can also cause increased fatigue which means that you are more likely to sleep more often and therefore dream more often as well.

Based on scientific research vivid dreaming is one of the ways in which you store your memories. In addition to this dreams can also function as a form of therapy according to the National Sleep Foundation.

So dreams can actually help you understand and process better as well as your emotions. In relation to pregnancy which is a very emotional experience, this can result in increased dreams as well as better recall of those dreams.

Tackling unpleasant pregnancy nightmares

Dreams during pregnancy can be used as a method of dealing with any stress of anxiety you might have. As a fact many women who have nightmares while pregnant about labour, generally tend to have easier and shorter deliveries.

However, these nightmares and bad dreams can still be unpleasant especially if they are quite vivid and hard to forget. You try and reduce the frequency of these by consulting your doctor about any questions or concerns you have regarding pregnancy, labour, or motherhood. As well you can try and talk to anyone you might feel comfortable to reduce your fears or relax yourself.

Conclusion

Changes during pregnancy to your dreams are very common and can cause you to have more vivid, intense dreamscapes as well as nightmares. These changes are caused by hormonal fluctuations and can be based on your emotions. We hope this information was able to help you understand the changes to your dreams better.