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Science Explains Why Pregnant Women Often Have Strange Dreams

Mark Andrew

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As if having bad dreams weren’t terrible enough, it seems they get stranger and happen more intensely when a woman is pregnant. Have you ever noticed this, ladies?

For example, pop star Cardi B tweeted about having “weird, crazy, spooky dreams” that were “too vivid” during her pregnancy. Her experience, of course, isn’t unique as studies have likewise discovered that pregnant women do have more nightmares compared with women who aren’t. Furthermore, it is said that pregnancy during the last trimester brings more frequent nightmares compared with the earlier trimesters.

According to experts, it’s all because of troubled sleeping.

Source: Pexels

As explained by the National Institutes of Health, human sleep cycles have five stages and it is during REM (rapid eye movement) when dreams occur the most.

Dr. Ryan Donald, physician and assistant professor of sleep medicine at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, said in a LiveScience interview:

“Quality of sleep is the poorest right before you’re about to deliver the baby. You have to get up to pee at night, or you might snore, or have sleep apnea.”

The feature also tells us that people who suffer from sleep apnea “experience very shallow breathing or pauses in breathing while they’re asleep.”

Additionally, restless legs syndrome may also manifest during pregnancy and interrupt a woman’s sleep. This could lead to waking up during REM and would increase the possibility of having intense, strange, and vivid dreams.

“Lower sleep quality, shorter sleep duration, more interruptions during sleep: These all can increase the likelihood of remembering dreams,” added Donald.

The struggle is real for pregnant women.

Source: Pexels

Meanwhile, a 2016 study published in the BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth journal reveals that 406 expectant mothers ages 17 to 44 reported twice as much nightmares as those who weren’t pregnant.

In 2014, a separate study published in Sleep Medicine found out that out of 57 last-trimester pregnant women surveyed, 32% of them admitted to having nightmares every week while 21% reported having more than one nightmare weekly.

Some mothers even confess that their nightmares were baby-related.

Dr. Julie Levitt, OB-GYN and clinical instructor at Northwestern Medicine in Chicago, pointed out:

“You have these dreams, and you’re like, ‘What in the world? Where did that come from?'”

“I think it’s based on things people might worry about on a day-to-day basis. A lot of the daytime fears that we walk around with tend to reveal themselves in dreams at night.”

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