If you’re pregnant, or have been pregnant in the past, you are probably already aware of the physical and mental changes your body goes through in just nine months. From bloating to bladder leakage to brain fog, there are loads of pregnancy “joys” to look forward to. Some women even report a change in their dream state when a carrying a child.
Apparently Cardi B, who is expecting her first child with fiancé Offset in July, is experiencing some dreams that are far from regular shmegular. Earlier this month, she wrote on Twitter: “Ok soooo one thing I don’t like about pregnancy is these weird, crazy, spooky dreams I be having. I hate them. I be waking up in the middle of the night out my naps. Is the weirdest thing.”
While the dreams themselves vary from woman to woman (Cardi B details vivid “sex dreams, nightmares, and good dreams”), one thing is consistent: They become more frequent and intense. But although this is a common phenomenon, what exactly causes it is uncertain. Many doctors theorize that is has to do with an increase in hormone production, similar to how the changes in your hormonal levels throughout your menstrual cycle affect your dreams.
“Pregnancy dreams are likely a result of fluctuating hormones, including estrogen and progesterone, and the production of human chorionic gonadotropin, which is often referred to as the pregnancy hormone,” says Sean O. Henry, MD, OB/GYN in New York City, pointing to how these changes can disrupt your sleep cycles, specifically when your brain is active during the REM cycle, and cause you to remember all of the crazy details from your dreams.
According to the American Pregnancy Association, hCG levels double every 72 hours once the egg has been fertilized, and this is thought to be responsible for numerous symptoms, including the increased urge to urine. Research also shows that the surge in estrogen and progesterone can increase anxiety, cause your body temperature to rise, and may be responsible for the soreness that often accompanies pregnancy — not exactly the recipe for a solid night of sleep.
So, while researchers don’t know exactly why you are dreaming about unicorns, burning buildings, and sex (lot of sex), there is no need to over-analyze those vivid visions. You are likely just remembering what the rest of us can’t.