Just like newborns, fetuses spend most of their time sleeping. Understanding the little one’s sleep pattern might help you adjust better.
How to measure sleep inside the womb?
Directly measuring the brain activity of a human fetus in the womb is impossible. What we know about our early sleep habits comes mostly from watching eye movements — where a child’s brain cycles back and forth between the frenzied activity of rapid eye movement sleep and the quiet resting state of nonREM sleep.
When does Your Baby sleep?
We don’t really know exactly when babies sleep inside the womb. Some moms feel their baby less during the day when they are active and, hence, think that their child is asleep. But that could be simply because they pay less attention. At night, when they have little else to focus on, they feel their child strongly and assume the opposite. The fact is, there are four states: quiet sleep, active sleep, quiet waking, and active waking.
Babies sleep alot but all differently
Just like newborn and infants, babies inside the worm have wide variations in the percentage of time spent in sleep-wake states. From observations of the eye movements, we know that at about the seventh month in the womb, a human fetus spends most of its time asleep. At 32 weeks, your baby sleeps 90 to 95 percent of the day.
Does Your Baby dream?
By the 7th month, Your Baby will be able to reach REM sleep, indicating brain activity and possibly visualizing and hearing. This could mean Your Baby is dreaming. However, the only way to know for sure is to ask the little one, and for that, we need to wait for two more years or so — by that time, Your Baby will have probably forgotten whether they dreamed inside the womb.
- Sleep-wake Cycles in Normal Fetuses, National Center for Biotechnology Information (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19434415/)
- Baby's First Dreams: Sleep Cycles Of The Fetus, Science Daily (https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090413185734.htm )
- Do Babies Sleep in the Womb? Healthline (https://www.healthline.com/health/pregnancy/do-babies-sleep-in-the-womb#research)