Pregnancy Sleep and Snoring
Pregnancy sleep can be full of unexpected joys...indigestion, midnight cravings, weird dreams. Snoring during pregnancy is another common complaint. In studies where pregnant women were asked about snoring, relatively few of them -- about four percent -- reported snoring before pregnancy. However by the end of pregnancy, up to a quarter of the women surveyed said they snored regularly, and many others said they snored every now and then.
Most pregnant women who start to snore are reacting to the increased levels of estrogen and other hormones. These hormones can cause swelling or puffiness in body tissues, including those that line the nasal passages and throat. As a result, pregnant women may experience nasal congestion or runniness, despite not having a cold or allergies. Another thing that makes snoring more likely is weight gain -- a part of any normal pregnancy.
For most women, snoring is no more than a small annoyance, and once the baby arrives, it will probably stop.
However, for a small number of pregnant women, snoring may be a symptom of a medical condition called obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), in which abnormal breathing pauses occur during sleep. These breathing pauses can cause fragmented sleep and excessive sleepiness during the day. In addition, some research has suggested that heavy snoring or OSA in pregnancy may be associated with gestational hypertension and preeclampsia. If you're concerned about your snoring, check in with your doctor to determine whether further medical evaluation is necessary.