Pregnancy comes with enough discomforts that you may not consider snoring to be one of them. But, a recent study conducted at Edinburgh University revealed that as women reach the third trimester of their pregnancy, they are twice as likely to snore as other women.
So, why are pregnant women more prone to snoring than other women? The first factor is related to weight. As a woman progresses in her pregnancy she quite naturally gains weight. Having excess weight is well known to be a factor when it comes to snoring.
But, this does not explain the drastic increase in snoring in pregnant women. Considering that most of the weight gained is due to the fetus’ growth, it does not necessarily apply that a pregnant woman should have the same types of issues that overweight women had.
The Edinburgh study showed that the airways of pregnant women were smaller than those of non-pregnant women. As the abdomen became larger and more distended the body tends to deposit more fat into the tissue around the throat. This fat is deposited in the pharyngeal muscles, or in the soft tissues around the upper airways and the neck itself. This increases the outward circumference of the neck, and narrows the airways.
As the airways narrow a woman’s systolic blood pressure rises. This increases the risk of pregnancy complications such as pre-eclampsia. There is also an increased risk of pregnancy-related sleep apnea in those who snore.
The good thing about snoring and pregnancy is that once the baby has arrived the snoring usually goes away. However, in the meantime, you might want to try some things to reduce your snoring and get a better night’s sleep.
Sleeping on your side may already be a necessity considering your pregnancy, but if not, you should try changing your sleeping position. You should also avoid caffeine, especially before bed.
Many women find that anti-snore nasal strips help to reduce snoring. Others prefer to try a dental device that holds the lower jaw forward as they sleep.
Whatever method you choose, be sure to discuss your snoring with your doctor. He or she will help you find healthy ways to reduce your snoring without putting your baby at risk.