Booble Blog: Is it normal to have such vivid dreams while pregnant?
In this edition of Boogle Blog, we discuss the subject of dreams and why, when we’re pregnant, our mind wanders into some crazy places.
If you’re pregnant and have woken up in a sweat wondering why you were pashing your year 10 high school teacher in your sleep or fighting off a one-legged dragon to save your baby, you’re not alone.
Wild and sometimes worrying dreams are completely normal and extremely common among expecting mums.
So what causes us to dream big while our bellies are growing?
Hormones or irregular sleep?
There are many theories as to why we dream so vividly when pregnant. Some point the finger at hormones, others say that the change in our sleep patterns are to blame. Both play a starring role in our books, and when you break it down it’s easy to see why.
As we know, hormones cause a roller-coaster ride of emotions during the day, but some researchers also theorise that the increase in vivid, detailed dreams may be linked to higher levels of progesterone that arise later in the pregnancy.
A 2015 study found that sleep tends to increase during the first trimester, but decreases as the pregnancy progresses. Right before giving birth, our body also produces a lot more oxytocin, which can make insomnia worse. Just what we need before having a newborn, right!?
As you’d know if you’re in the later stage of your second trimester or now into your third, sleep is starting to become fragmented, with your baby getting bigger, your back getting sorer and your bladder in overdrive.
It’s this constant waking that causes us to not quite slip into a deep sleep, and stay in what they call REM sleep (rapid eye movement), which means you’re not only more likely to dream, but way more likely to wake up during or right after a dream, meaning you’ll have a better chance of remembering it, in every vivid detail.
Should we worry?
The short answer is, no. Dreams are our subconscious mind exploring every scenario possible, to see if we’re equipped for procreation or a zombie apocalypse. Neither of which anyone can truly prepare for.
And while dreaming is something we can’t control, there are a few things you can do to try and limit the night terrors, and move those dreams into something a little more PG.
Set the mood.
Creating a bit of a ritual for yourself each night is a great way to tell your mind and body that it’s time to wind down and chillax. Try lighting a scented candle, running yourself a bath and playing some chill-out tunes.
Stick to a routine.
Going to bed and getting up at the same time each day can improve your sleep health. Easier said than done some times, we know.
We know it’s hard, but try limiting your device usage in bed. Wordle can wait till the morning!
Regular physical activity during pregnancy can help you fall asleep more easily, and has been known to help with restless legs.
To avoid heartburn, try eating small, frequent meals and avoid eating three hours before bedtime, if you can. Sleeping on your left side with your head elevated can also help ease heartburn symptoms.
If you continue to have trouble sleeping during pregnancy, or your dreams are starting to make you feel anxious, have a chat with your OB or health care provider, and see what they would recommend to put your mind at ease.
Finding yourself Googling everything from boobs and bums to bubs and bibs? Visit our New Beginnings website, where you’ll find a range of helpful articles, products and tips for navigating this new chapter of your life - mummahood.