Possible Pregnancy Nightmare Reasons
Pregnancy is a time of extreme changes. During pregnancy, you not only go through physical changes but also emotional ones. Pregnancy can be an overwhelming time for women, especially for first-time moms. As a result, you can have dreams that can range from extremely weird to downright scary ones.
Pregnancy can be a time of unending anxiety. Combine this with physical and emotional changes you are experiencing and you can’t help but justify your nightmares.
The anxiety can be about many things, such as:
- Concerns about being a good parent can make you anxious
- Worries about the health of the baby are a valid reason for your anxiety.
- Fear or expectations of difficult labor can add to your increasing anxiety.
2. Sleep Troubles:
Pregnancy and sleep troubles go hand in hand. Sleep deprivation will only add fuel to the fire.
When your sleep is disturbed or when you wake and sleep again often during the night, you are also able to remember your dreams more vividly.
You may wake up at night for the following reasons:
- You need to wake up many times during the night because you have the urge to urinate.
- The hormones can rage a war inside you and wake you at odd hours.
- Anxiety can keep you awake at night.
- Feelings of uneasiness due to pregnancy can lead to restless nights.
- You may not be feeling well.
- Heartburn is a common pregnancy problem due to increased pressure on the lungs and the stomach. It can keep you awake at all hours.
- You can also suffer from restless legs syndrome (RLS) during pregnancy. In this condition, you have an unpleasant sensation in your legs, which only gets better with movement. So, there goes your sleep again!
- You can also experience difficulty in breathing. It can occur as the growing uterus puts extra pressure on the diaphragm.
- Fatigue and nausea can also disturb your sleep during pregnancy.
- Fetal movement can also cause disturbed sleep.
3. Role Of Cortisol:
Some studies indicate that cortisol has a role to play in the way we experience/process emotions when we dream. Cortisol is a type of hormone. Cortisol levels rise as the pregnancy advances and can reach high levels at the time of labor. Cortisol levels rise during sleep when we have vivid dreams. So, with cortisol levels at their peak during pregnancy and sleep period, pregnant women can likely have dreams that signify a whole range of their emotions through scary imagery.
How to Handle Nightmares During Pregnancy
Don’t lose sleep (literally) over your nightmares during pregnancy. Don’t read too much into them unless they begin to interfere with your well-being.
Your bad dreams or nightmares during pregnancy may be a representation of your emotional and mental state at this crucial time in your life. Your nightmares may just be projections of your anxiety, fears, and concerns.
In such a case you can talk to your doctor about any health concerns. Talk about your dreams and the corresponding anxiety with your partner. A good exchange of thoughts between you and your partner can go a long way to alleviate your fears. Once the fears go away, the bad dreams may disappear too.