Pregnancy and the Fetal Sleep – Facts to Know

All future mothers translate differently the baby kicks and the studies have shown that the fetus sleeps inside the womb developing during pregnancy the sleep habits it will have as a newborn baby.

The fetal sleep has always been an exciting enigma both for the future mothers and the researchers. Still, so far very little is known about what makes the fetus sleep.

Pregnancy and the Fetal SleepThe cerebral activity of a child or of an adult can be studied through different methods but the cerebral activity of the fetus is almost impossible to monitor.

It is known that as babies are concerned, the sleep is an important factor in the growth and development of the brain.

During sleep the brain develops the brain cells and new neuronal connections.

This explains why the newborns need the sleep. They sleep so much in the first year of life because during sleep the brain develops and processes the new information.

The studies conducted over the last years concluded that the fetus spends 80% of its time in the mother’s womb sleeping and in the third trimester the brain of the fetus goes through two specific sleeping phases: the REM and non-REM.

Through ultrasound examinations there were noticed periods when the eyeballs of the fetus moved quickly and periods when the eye globes remained still. REM comes from Rapid Eye Movement which is the only indication that the fetus is sound asleep.

REM represents the deep sleep which will be the future baby sleep after birth. When the fetus sleeps its brain increases the level of activity and the eyeballs move fast, a sign that it is dreaming.

The non-REM sleep is the peaceful sleep when the baby does not dream. During this sleep the fetus’ brain grows and processes information. This is the learning sleep and its duration will condition the baby’s periods of sleep after the birth.


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