Snoring during pregnancy is dangerous for Mother and baby.

You’re prepared for the morning sickness, weight gain and insomnia but the one side effect of pregnancy that you may not expect is snoring.

Photo of beautiful pregnant woman sleeping in bed

According to the very latest research, more and more women are snoring, often due to weight gain, and of course pregnancy brings the same result. In fact, more than 50 per cent of pregnant women are overweight or obese, according to the latest official survey statistics.

Studies show that between 25 and 30 per cent of women snore during pregnancy. In fact, a study in the journal SLEEP found that 35 per cent of women reported snoring 3 to 4 times a week, or even every single day. Plus, 26 per cent of women only started to snore during their pregnancies.

In the past 30 years however, snoring rates are higher than ever, mostly due to women starting their pregnancy overweight or gaining too much during the nine months. The extra tissue around the neck is what leads to snoring.

What causes snoring during pregnancy

Snoring always happens when the upper airways relax and partially close, making it more difficult to get enough air through the mouth and the nose and there are several reasons why snoring is common during pregnancy.

For starters, as your uterus and baby grow and press on your diaphragm, it’s inevitable that it will be much harder to breathe, whether you’re sitting on the couch, working out or sleeping.

Higher levels of hormones, particularly oestrogen, cause the mucus membranes and nasal passages to swell, too. Plus, your blood volume increases by 50 per cent, which expands the blood vessels and also causes the nasal membranes to swell.

What are the risks to Mum and her baby

Although you might choose to dismiss it because it’s temporary, or even laugh it off as an amusing interlude, the reality is that snoring during pregnancy is no laughing matter for a number of reasons.

  • Women who snore during pregnancy have an increased risk for high blood pressure, fatigue, preeclampsia, and having smaller babies.
  • Pregnant women with high blood pressure who also snore have an increased risk for obstructive sleep apnoea, which affects up to one-third of women during the last months of pregnancy, a study in the journal BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology found.
  • Pregnant women who snore are also more likely to have a caesarean section and those who develop it pregnancy have an increased risk of having an emergency C-section, the same SLEEP study found.
  • Another concern is gestational diabetes, which, according to the CDC, affects up to 9.2 per cent of women. That’s because when you’re not able to get enough oxygen, it alters your glucose metabolism.
  • Pregnancy during snoring has also been linked to causing depression during pregnancy and postpartum depression

How to protect Mum and baby

The most important thing you need to do is recognise the signs early on.

Ask your partner if you snore, or stop breathing momentarily during the night or gasp for air. If you snore more than three nights a week and you also have high blood pressure, it’s likely that you also have obstructive sleep apnoea and you need to act on that. Although it’s common to feel tired during pregnancy, daytime sleepiness and extreme fatigue are strong indicators that you snore.

It’s important to be able to increase the quality of your breathing and maintain the supply of oxygen to your brain, and this can be done quite easily. By wearing a simple mouthpiece called a mandibular adjustment device, or MAD, the jaw is repositioned temporarily in a more forward position. The effect of this is to open the throat, which due to weight gain has been obstructed, and this improves breathing and stops the snoring at the same time,

NHS Approved mouthpieces are easily available online for a very small cost and companies such as SleepPro even have one that has been developed specially for women with this and their general snoring problems in mind. SleepPro Woman can be shaped to fit your mouth in seconds and is comfortable and easy to wear. It also has a measured 98% success rate and a money back satisfaction guarantee.

If your problem is sleep apnoea, then the SleepPro Custom is NHS recommended.

John Redfern


If you snore heavily is it definitely safe for you to drive?

Being healthy isn’t always about hitting the gym, eating sensibly, and living life in the slow lane; there’s one component of health and wellness that is usually overlooked – and that is sleep. Sleep is vital to one’s well being and more often than not, getting enough sleep can be a nightmare.

For some it’s about following a strict routine and getting to bed at a certain hour. For others, sleep apnoea is often the monster hiding under the bed covers and it’s that which keeps them from getting the rest they need.

Sad man at road accident scene, horizontal

Research conducted by the AA has found that a fifth of motorway collisions in Britain are caused by drivers falling asleep at the wheel and one in ten crashes on all of Britain’s roads – around 23,300 a year – are also linked to fatigue. Once diagnosed, drivers must inform the DVLA that they have OSA. Once treated however, driving can resume. There is no loss of driving license. However, if left undiagnosed and untreated, OSA can lead to a serious accident, injury and even death of the driver or others on the road.

Their findings also suggest that sleep disturbances may contribute to health disparities among adults.

Symptoms of sleep apnea can be tricky because, like most conditions, even if you have all the tell-tale signs, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have it. The symptoms of sleep apnoea include loud snoring, choking during sleep as well as feeling exhausted during the day and having to nap on a regular basis. Other factors such as raised blood pressure are also a symptom.

Many people including professional drivers have OSA but are totally unaware. However eventually it’s possible that due to the high number of recent serious accidents on both road and rail, that all commercial drivers, and also train drivers, will soon need to be evaluated for symptoms of OSA.

It’s becoming a very hot topic in North America and what happens there first usually follows elsewhere. According to a study conducted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) affects more than a quarter of commercial truck drivers.

In the USA further research was carried out as part of the Sleep 4a Healthy Life program, with the following key findings:

  • 28% of drivers have untreated OSA
  • These drivers are six times more likely to be in an accident
  • These drivers are twice as likely to have a heart attack or stroke
  • Companies spend twice as much on their medical expenses

Research has shown that untreated sleep apnoea increases the risk of motor vehicle accidents, but those who perform the U.S. Department of Transportation medical certifications for commercial vehicle drivers are still getting up to speed on how to screen for this disorder. The recent deadly Amtrak wreck in Philadelphia underscores the importance of responsible screening, diagnosis and treatment for drivers with sleep apnea.

Every year, tens of thousands of fatalities occur on U.S. highways. Heavy to medium trucks accounted for many of them. As the result of long hours spent on the road, commercial vehicle drivers are at increased risk for motor vehicle accidents. Researchers have studied the effect of sleep apnoea and short sleep duration on commercial drivers and found a decrease in neurobehavioral performance particularly when reduced sleep duration and severe sleep apnea are combined,

The daytime sleepiness is made acute as a result of seriously disturbed sleep and this makes handling all machinery and driving vehicles dangerous. Commercial drivers appear to be even more at risk according to the figures. Most commercial drivers are male, and OSA is twice as common in males than females. Medical experts also state that the lifestyle factors of a commercial driver involve prolonged sitting, and this contributes greatly, to the chance of having OSA.

When there is little movement in the legs during most of the day, fluid builds up in the legs and when one goes to lie down to sleep, that fluid travels upward into the neck and can cause an obstructed airway, which is sometimes the cause of sleep apnoea in adults.  Diet is a factor as well since obesity is also linked to sleep apnea. Many professional drivers get their meals at truck stops, which may not help.

However, 90% of those who have OSA are in denial and it goes untreated. As for Snoring – well that’s just something funny isn’t it?  Or is it?

John Redfern


You Don’t Have to Be Obese or Male to Have Sleep Apnoea

For those of you who are unaware: obstructive sleep apnoea, or OSA, is a disorder where your breathing pauses or becomes shallow, pushing you out of deep sleep into the lighter kind. This can happen if the brain doesn’t send the correct signals to the breathing muscles or, more commonly, if the airway collapses or is blocked. When these blockages, or apnoeas occur, the brain is deprived of oxygen and this can result in numerous health problems if it is left untreated. The key symptoms are heavy snoring, and frequent regular gasping for breath whilst asleep.

beautiful young woman in white bed in the morning, does not want to wake up. Not enough sleep.

Wake up to the problems

These can include a wide range of cardiovascular problems including heart attacks and strokes, Type 2 Diabetes Type, cognitive disorders including earlier onset of Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, and daytime tiredness that is dangerous when using or controlling machinery or equipment at work.

Up to 10% of UK women are thought to have this problem, most of them undiagnosed, and as many as 15% of Americans may be living with the same undiagnosed condition. Studies suggest that twice as many men have the condition, but this is probably because women are more likely not to recognise they have a problem and put tiredness down to other matters.

The Sleep Health Index found that a higher proportion of individuals were told by a doctor that they have sleep apnoea than some previous reports. The Index found that 10 % of the US population had been told by their physician that they have sleep apnoea but Epidemiological research estimates that approximately 25 % of the adult population has the condition which suggests that another 15 % of those with sleep apnoea still remain undiagnosed. In the UK only 4% of men and 2% of women have been diagnosed and it could be an equally sizeable problem.

Sleep disturbances are often more subtle in women, with symptoms that could have many causes. The problem usually arrives around menopause, for example, often misleading their doctors, but many suffer due to being very overweight. Up to 30 per cent of people with sleep apnea aren’t overweight however and 10 to 20 per cent don’t even snore according to some researchers. As well as snoring being the primary identifier, signs of OSA in women can include fatigue, dull morning headaches, low mood, irritability or insomnia.

If left neglected, OSA can become very severe and demands highly supervised medical treatment. The “gold standard” treatment for obstructive sleep apnoea is a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine and a mask that pumps a flow of air into your nasal passages to keep the airway open. This is worn throughout the night as you sleep.

A major problem is that as many as 65% of people who own a CPAP are “non-compliant” — skipping nights, taking it off during the night, or stopping altogether. That’s the problem doubled, because untreated sleep apnea increases the risk of diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure, heart failure, and car accidents from sleepiness at the wheel. Your body will feel the effects of oxygen deprivation even while you’re awake, some research suggests, and more so if you’re female.

Wake up to the solution

However, if it’s treated earlier, medical intervention may not be necessary, and the treatment is easy and inexpensive. A simple mouthpiece worn at night is all that is required. These are medically approved worldwide and both Doctors and Dentists recommend them.

Not only will the use of a mouthpiece, or oral appliance, control mild to moderate OSA, but can also reverse the problems previously caused if use is started early enough with the correct product. To make sure it’s medically approved is important.

Man or woman, if you think you may have untreated OSA, check out the details for suitable oral appliances and act quickly – your life may depend on it, and the benefits will soon be apparent.

 

John Redfern


Dentists discover the medical benefits of oral appliances to stop snoring

Snoring is a common problem the world over, with about 4 in 10 men and 3 in 10 women being affected. The word ‘snoring’ generally elicits a comical response although the reality is that prolonged, untreated snoring can lead to numerous serious health issues such as diabetes, cardiovascular problems, hypertension, depression, fatigue, impaired brain function and major liver damage.

Single male sprawled out all over the couch sleeping with the TV on. Shows either relaxation or with the mans weight a lazy lifestyle.

 

Being overweight is a major cause of snoring

It goes without saying that the long-term health impacts of snoring are far from funny and impossible to ignore. Thankfully, as medicine has advanced, oral appliance therapy has been properly recognised.

Snoring and obstructive sleep apnoea are common in the population and these disorders continuously increase because of the ongoing obesity epidemic in many countries. Today, there are 25 million snorers in the UK -40% of the population, and over 2.5 million people are believed to have undiagnosed OSA – 5% of the total population

Symptoms include daytime sleepiness, poor sleep quality, headache, insomnia and restless legs. In the longer term, a more severe sleep apnoea is associated with serious consequences, such as high blood pressure, stroke, cancer, traffic accidents and early death.

This week Dentists and Sleep Specialists from around all over the world gathered in Seattle for the 24th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM). The main objective of the AADSM is to further advance oral appliance therapy (OAT) as a treatment for obstructive sleep apnoea and the event featured several professional development opportunities to help dentists stay up-to-date on the latest advancements in dental sleep medicine.

“With the growing volume of research supporting the benefits of oral appliance therapy, dental sleep medicine is gaining prominence in the medical community,” says Kathleen Bennett, the AADSM President.

“The AADSM Annual Meeting serves to increase the understanding of oral appliance therapy as an effective alternative for sleep apnoea patients who don’t adhere to CPAP—the traditionally prescribed treatment.”

The meeting is an opportunity for all concerned from across the globe to share new research on dental sleep medicine.

This year’s highlighted research abstracts included details of the major impact made by Custom-made Mouthpieces on lowering blood pressure in OSA sufferers who struggle with CPAP. It was clearly shown that OAT clearly helps to reduce high blood pressure in those patients with Hypertension. Custom-made oral appliances significantly lowered both the systolic and diastolic blood pressure of these patients, and even went as far as normalising blood pressure in 59% of patients, which is an important step in improving other areas of personal health.

Medically approved oral appliances such as the SleepPro Custom, which have been developed by Dentists and are NHS Approved, are available online, and have proved in controlled tests to be the most effective in cases of mild to moderate OSA and snoring. This mouthpiece has proved itself at the same time to not only be the most cost-efficient, but also to contribute massively to the recovery of personal health, and in doing so, save lives. It is also now available in an anti-microbial version called Custom AM that gives full germ protection orally.

If you snore more than once a week for a prolonged period of time, you are considered to have a long-term snoring problem that needs addressing immediately. Left untreated it may result in critical health problems. If you pause, or gasp for breath when sleeping, it may be even worse than you think and could be sleep apnoea.

So, if this sounds like you or someone close to you then take some action – and don’t delay – DO IT NOW

It’s easy to obtain a customised appliance or alternatively get in touch with a medical professional to see how this problem can be solved

John Redfern