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Pregnancy and Sleep Problems

When you are pregnant, there is always something new happening to your body. Suddenly you’ll have bad heartburn every night (no matter what you eat), your shoes won’t fit anymore, or you’ll notice that your belly button goes from an inney to an outey. Perhaps most concerning (and annoying), though, is the changes you’ve noticed in your sleep patterns. 

Why would my sleep change because I’m pregnant?

Hormones seem to be the cause of many sleep problems during pregnancy. An increase in pregnancy hormones can give you a bad case of nasal congestion, as more estrogen and progesterone causes the mucous membranes in your nose to swell up. This can mean that you suddenly start snoring, or you are snoring more and more loudly than you used to. Weight gain during pregnancy doesn’t help either, as extra tissue around your head and neck can contribute to snoring problems, too. 

Sleep apnea can be another disturbing problem in pregnancy. Patients with sleep apnea briefly stop breathing during sleep. This may only last for about 10 seconds, but that is enough to wake you up, even if you don’t realize it, and it is enough to drop the oxygen level in the blood. You may have sleep apnea if you snore, are excessively tired during the day, or wake up choking or gasping for air. Symptoms usually get worse around the sixth month of pregnancy. 

The risk of developing sleep apnea during pregnancy is low – it is thought to affect around 10% of pregnant women – but if you think you might have it you should see your doctor right away. It has been associated with pregnancy problems such as gestational hypertension and diabetes, and it can even affect the growth of the baby.  

After the delivery of your baby, your snoring and sleep apnea problems should improve. Until then, though, call eos dental sleep for help. Oral appliance therapy is noninvasive and effective, and it can help you to sleep better and can help to protect your health and the health of your baby. Contact the Philadelphia office today at (215) 241-0700 for an appointment!