There's A Reason Your Pregnancy Dreams Are Totally Wild

Well, this makes a lot of sense.
Dusan Stankovic via Getty Images

Pregnancy impacts the body in so many ways – but perhaps lesser spoken about, and researched, is the impact it can have on your dreams.

If you’ve ever been pregnant, you might recall how your dreams during that period seemed much more vivid – you might’ve even struggled with more nightmares.

People also anecdotally report they can recall more of the dreams they have or that they’re having multiple dreams in the space of one night.

Basically, a lot of activity going on up there.

But why is this?

It’s not 100% clear why this happens. But there are a few theories.

1. Hormones

Some experts suggest it could be down to hormonal changes, as your body is going through an immense amount of change on the hormone front.

Pam Muller, a dream interpreter on TikTok explains, “when your hormones are shifting, they bring about big feelings and big changes in feelings which your dreams tend to latch onto”.

2. Sleep

The bizarre dreams might also be down to changes in your sleep quality and routines.

A study from the early 90s of 88 pregnant women found the further along in their pregnancy a woman was, the more dreams she reported having.

This makes a lot of sense, as it becomes harder to get a good night’s sleep as you enter the third trimester. You might wake up much more to use the bathroom, struggle to get comfortable or experience restless sleep.

“Dreaming tends to occur in the latter part of a dream cycle ... we cycle through the stages of dreaming four or five times a night,” says Muller.

“Usually, we go to sleep at night and wake up in the morning, so we remember the most recent dream cycle.”

But when you’re in the third trimester, or if you’re experiencing disrupted sleep throughout pregnancy, the dreams expert says “you’re going to wake up more often so you have a chance to remember more of what was going on in your mind during the REM sleep cycle”.

In short: you have more chances throughout the night to remember the dreams you’re having, rather than rolling straight into another dream and then forgetting the last.

3. Processing issues and emotions

Dreaming about your pregnancy or baby is very common – the same nineties study found 67% dreamt about their pregnancy or baby, and 22 of the women experienced at least one nightmare.

The most common dream experienced by those taking part in the study was conflict with the father of the baby.

Researchers think the reason we dream is so our subconscious can work through issues that are currently on our mind. As Muller says, “our dreams are definitely a good way to help us unpack our fears and our anxieties”.

If your dreams are causing you a lot of anxiety and stress, Healthline recommends talking through them with a doctor, friend, therapist or even journalling them.

You might want to also try (emphasis on the word try, here) to improve your sleep quality by avoiding drinking loads of water before bed, sleeping on the left-hand side, avoiding screen time before bed and steering clear of long naps in the day which might prevent you from getting good quality shut-eye in the evening.