Many factors, including the baby's movements and the need to get up and go to the restroom frequently, contribute to sleeplessness in pregnant women. But there’s another reason women usually have trouble sleeping: a shift in your dream life. Many women experience pregnancy nightmares that often end up in night sweats or excessive sweating during sleep.
It's not unheard of for pregnant women to have dreams that are weird or scary. You may even have anxiety dreams or find that you feel more anxious than usual at night, then have more instances of night sweating as a result as well.
Experiencing nightmares during pregnancy
Pregnant women can have extremely realistic dreams, sometimes terrifying ones. Even among women who don't typically remember their dreams, many claim that this ability increases during pregnancy. These visions could represent a very real possibility.
Dreams have been theorized to be our subconscious's way of processing the stresses of the present. Pregnant women frequently describe having dreams about their pregnancy, such as dreaming about getting pregnant or even about the first moment you meet your child. The sex of the baby is often a subject of prenatal dreams for many expectant women.
Sometimes a pregnant woman will have a nightmare. Women often have disturbing dreams during pregnancy, often centering around the birthing process or imagining a negative outcome for their unborn child. Pregnant women frequently dream about arguments with the father.
Physical and emotional causes of night sweats
Sweating so much that your pajamas or bedsheets get drenched is a classic symptom of night sweats. There is usually an underlying medical problem that triggers them. Night sweat sufferers are undoubtedly all too familiar with the unpleasant sensation of waking up soaked in perspiration. Sweating during sleep is a common symptom of changing body temperatures, which is a natural phenomenon. The leading causes of night sweats include:
- Changes in hormones - Changes in progesterone and estrogen can cause night sweats, which can leave you soaked from excessive sweating.
- Thyroid issues - The body's metabolism and core temperature are both supported by thyroid hormones. If your body produces too much thyroid hormone, you may experience symptoms of overheating.
- Increases blood flow - As opposed to when the woman was not pregnant, the volume of a pregnant woman's blood plasma can increase by as much as 40%. And it keeps going up until it reaches 60 percent (or more) by the end of the third trimester. As the blood vessels widen to bring more blood to the surface of the skin, a feeling of being “warmer” is experienced.
- Side effects of medications - Excessive sweating and/or night sweats are common effects of several medications such as antidepressants and OTC drugs for acid reflux and colds.
- Infections - Due to the typical changes in the immune system that occur during pregnancy, a woman may be more susceptible to some infections, which can lead to night sweats.
- Low blood sugar - Not getting enough calories can leave you feeling depleted during pregnancy. Hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, can occur in this situation. A symptom that may be indicative of nocturnal hypoglycemia is night sweats.
On the emotional aspect,pPregnancy worries are common for most, if not all, pregnant moms. Pregnant women may experience anxiety due to hormonal shifts, past traumatic miscarriages, or trouble sleeping. When we're anxious or stressed out, our bodies sweat. As a result, pregnant women who suffer from anxiety or mood swings may find themselves sweating excessively, especially if they woke up from a bad dream.
Tips on how to keep nightmares & night sweats at bay
Many new moms experience a burst of happiness and excitement during their pregnancies. In spite of this, it's normal to have some degree of stress and worry about your pregnancy and the birth of your baby. Mothers-to-be who report higher levels of anxiety or depression throughout the day are also more likely to have disturbing nightmares.
Just keep in mind that the things that keep popping up in your dreams could be clues to the matters that are weighing heavily on your mind. Here are some tips to help you conquer nightmares and night sweats during pregnancy:
- Do talk to your partner about your fears and what’s on your mind to help both of you fully understand this new phase in your life.
- Preventative measures, such as drinking water, can help to keep you cool and prevent illness. Exercising regularly can help to keep your body hydrated and prevent overheating.
- Due to the discomfort associated with pregnancy, sleep is disrupted frequently during the night. A maternity pillow can help you deal with a variety of pregnancy-related discomforts such as hip and joint pain.
- If you're having trouble sleeping and waking up multiple times during the night, working to improve those conditions can greatly help. Following pregnancy sleep strategies like sleeping on your left side and avoiding beverages before bed will help you get a better night's rest during pregnancy.
- Keep a dream diary, reach out to your support community or partner, and try meditation or yoga. You can also check out parenting classes, especially for first time parents, to help put your mind at ease.
- Best of all, make sure to consult your doctor. Excessive sweating may be a sign of physical illnesses you’re not aware of and a diagnosis and medication may help you get rid of night sweats. Running some tests can also put your mind at ease and help you sleep better.
Pregnancy is a time of change and growth for you and your baby. Many of these changes are positive, but others can be challenging and even stressful such as experiencing anxiety, nightmares, and excessive sweating.
Effective management of stress during pregnancy can help to keep you healthy, both physically and mentally. If you’re struggling with anxiety in pregnancy, remember that it’s completely normal, and there are things that you can do to alleviate it. Talk to your doctor or therapist if you're having trouble sleeping during pregnancy, experiencing distress from your nightmares, or if you're having the same nightmare over and over again.