Pregnancy and Snoring
Snoring can be addressed in a variety of different ways. But what happens when your snoring begins in (or gets worse during) pregnancy? Here’s what you need to know.
When Snoring Begins During Pregancy
If you’ve never snored before, it might surprise you when you awaken to a not-as-gentle-as-you’d-like nudge in the night and “Honey…you’re snoring!”
What…you snore? Actually, snoring CAN begin during pregnancy, and there are several reasons.
The most obvious reason is the impact of the amount of weight the baby and your own increased pregnancy weight. If you’re in your third trimester, the size of the baby is beginning to press much more against your internal organs, including upward and back toward your lungs, slightly diminishing their capacity. However, even during earlier weeks, the growth of your uterus and increased blood volume will put a bit of pressure on your lungs and can make breathing more labored. At night, when your muscles are relaxed during the sleep process, this can mean less air getting to your lungs than previously.
The second issue is hormonal. Hormones can impact snoring, and constant shifts and increases in several hormones during pregnancy could mean more or worse/deeper snoring than before.
Third, your sleep position, which will likely shift due to your increasing size as well as occasional difficulty in getting comfortable in general, can put pressure in different ways on your lungs and throat area, constricting the air flow once you’re deep into sleep.
Drugs During Pregnancy…Yes or No?
If you are pregnant, do NOT medicate yourself for any issue connected to your snoring without asking your doctor first. Some common drug therapies to aid with issues that may impact snoring include antihistamines or cold medications. These may not be healthy for you during this time, but some, in certain dosages, may be approved by your physician.
In the meantime, try these non-drug methods for reducing your snoring:
- Make sure your sleep position is comfortable and that you are able to breathe easily in the position you choose for sleeping. A pregnancy pillow can help. Your entire trunk and down past your hips should be well supported but comfortable, and your neck should be straight if possible so as not to impede air flow.
- Keep your room on the cooler rather than warm side, and layer blankets so you can throw one off if you get too warm. Snoring can be worse in a too-warm room.
- Try to keep your weight gain under control. If you’re having difficulty gaining the recommended amount of weight, ask your doctor for her advice.
- If your room is dry, try a humidifier. Make sure to REGULARLY clean or replace the filter per the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Consider food and environmental allergy testing. Allergies can greatly exacerbate a snoring issue. Ask your doctor.