There are various sources that say that fetuses have rapid eye movement in the womb and they might be dreaming during REM sleep.

Scientists who follow the fetus's daily life find that it spends most of its time not exercising these new abilities but sleeping. At 32 weeks, it drowses 90 to 95% of the day. Some of these hours are spent in deep sleep, some in REM sleep, and some in an indeterminate state, a product of the fetus's immature brain that is different from sleep in a baby, child, or adult.

During REM sleep, the fetus's eyes move back and forth just as an adult's eyes do, and many researchers believe that it is dreaming. DiPietro speculates that fetuses dream about what they know--the sensations they feel in the womb.


It is said that babies have rapid eye movement in the womb in the later months that indicates that maybe (just maybe) they are dreaming. What does a fetus who has never seen anything dream of? This is what I wonder.


So, is it proven that babies (or fetuses) in the womb dream? Is there any extensive research about this?

  • How do you define dreaming?
    – Rob Watts
    Oct 21, 2014 at 1:50
  • @RobWatts: a succession of images, thoughts, or emotions passing through the mind during sleep
    – ermanen
    Oct 21, 2014 at 1:53
  • I don't see a real claim here. "Scientists" see REM and sleep-like behaviour. They (openly) speculate that it looks like a lot like dreaming. What do you think a (positive or negative) answer would look like?
    – Oddthinking
    Oct 21, 2014 at 3:37
  • @Oddthinking: They believe that it is dreaming. What makes them believe that it is dreaming? Can REM in fetuses indicate dreaming only? It is still a statement that there can be a proof out there to justify it. Am I missing something? Or should I re-phrase the question?
    – ermanen
    Oct 21, 2014 at 3:50
  • 1
    @Oddthinking - not quite. There was a recent TED talk that discussed specifically learning in fetuses, so there's ways to determine some things (especially since in adult humans sleep is REQUIRED to process information for long term memory). Dreams themselves have specific neurological patterns.
    – user5341
    Oct 22, 2014 at 15:19


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