Snoring mothers-to-be are linked to low birth weight babies

The British Press have covered this subject extensively this week based on the results of a new research study that has just been completed in the United States. The research was published in the journal ‘Sleep’.

Snoring can be more than just an annoyance to others who are trying to sleep in the same room. For pregnant women, snoring could indicate certain higher risks. Experts say that snoring may be a sign of breathing problems that could deprive an unborn baby of oxygen.

Snoring is often a key sign of obstructive sleep apnoea, which results in the airway becoming partially blocked, said the researchers, whose findings appear in the journal Sleep. This can reduce blood oxygen levels during the night and is associated with serious health problems, including high blood pressure and heart attacks. The experts stress sleep apnoea can of course be easily treated.

The study found that chronic snorers, who snored both before and during pregnancy, were two thirds more likely to have a baby whose weight was in the bottom 10%.

Newborn baby girl sleeping

They were also more than twice as likely to need an elective Caesarean delivery, or C-section, compared with non-snorers.

Dr Louise O’Brien, from the University of Michigan’s Sleep Disorders Centre, said: “There has been great interest in the implications of snoring during pregnancy and how it affects maternal health but there is little data on how it may impact the health of the baby.

“We’ve found that chronic snoring is associated with both smaller babies and C-sections, even after we accounted for other risk factors. This suggests that we have a window of opportunity to screen pregnant women for breathing problems during sleep that may put them at risk of poor delivery outcomes.”

Previous research has already shown that women who start to snore during pregnancy are at risk from high blood pressure and the potentially dangerous pregnancy condition pre-eclampsia.

More than a third of the 1,673 pregnant women recruited for the new US study reported habitual snoring. They were also more than twice as likely to need an elective Caesarean delivery, or C-section, compared with non-snorers.

Scientists found that women who snored in their sleep three or more nights per week had a higher risk of poor delivery outcomes, including smaller babies and Caesarean births.

The very worst cases of sleep apnoea can be treated with CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure), which involves wearing a mask attached to a machine during sleep, which pumps oxygen to keep the airways open. Most other forms of sleep apnoea can be treated with the wearing of a simple snoring mouthpiece, similar to a gumshield that is worn for sports.

Dr O’Brien added: “If we can identify risks during pregnancy that can be treated, such as obstructive sleep apnoea, we can reduce the incidence of small babies, C-sections and possibly NICU (neo-natal intensive care unit) admission that not only improve long-term health benefits for the newly born but also help keep costs down.”

By John Redfern

Do you snore heavily? Do you have sleep apnea? Take our simple test – it could save your life.

Sleep disorders are a serious and growing problem. Approximately 25% of men and 10% of women suffer from some form of sleep disorder or other that negatively impacts upon their health. But until now, diagnosis generally required staying overnight at a sleep centre, and the subsequent treatment required wearing a mask-like device attached to a machine pumping air. The treatment is called CPAP – Continuous Positive Airway Pressure.

Sleep disorders can affect the ability of patients, and their partners, to get proper rest, in turn affecting work levels and productivity and also seriously increasing risks of hypertension, stroke, heart failure, diabetes, migraines and depression – let alone cause separation in many cases.

The standard approach to treating sleep disorders is fragmented and can be complicated, requiring patients to visit different centres for diagnosis and treatment. Sleep disorders are very widespread and treatment can greatly improve the lives of sufferers but the success of the treatment used for this type of sleep disorder, often called sleep apnea, is very unpredictable and often not liked by patients.

Over 50% of patients abandon their snoring or sleep apnea treatments due to the hassle in diagnosis and treatment process. It is key to address this problem and SleepPro offers a simple and successful alternative to CPAP with a range of technologically advanced dental mouthpieces that can cure the vast majority of problems for snoring sufferers, as well as manage any mild to moderate sleep apnea condition which should not be ignored.

Unfortunately in the UK many people don’t realize there is a simple successful treatment for snoring readily available that can be fairly straightforward and very effective. The SleepPro product range is NHS Approved and this type of oral device comes highly recommended by both Doctors and Dentists.

Technology for sleep disorders has developed with easier diagnosis now available including home sleep tests and the use of tried and tested treatments such as the simple mouth guard, which is starting to really gain public awareness due to the resultant health improvements.

SleepPro uses the latest advancements in a customized approach developed by physicians and dentists working together to diagnose and treat sleep disorder sufferers. This is a British designed product range that has resulted from many years of Dental and Medical co-operation and analysis and the results speak for themselves. They have a product for everyone.

Check it out for yourself?

Major Risk Groups include, but are not limited to:

  • People who are overweight (Body Mass Index of 25 to 29.9) and obese (Body Mass Index of 30 and above)
  • Men and women with large neck sizes: 17 inches or more for men, 16 inches or more for women
  • Middle-aged and older men, and post-menopausal women
  • Adults and children with Downs Syndrome
  • Children with large tonsils and adenoids
  • Smokers

A possible indicator of sleep apnea is chronic snoring. A physician should evaluate whether sleep apnea is present and if the level is mild, moderate or severe. Patients with sleep apnea often experience sleep deprivation. You may be sleepy during the day and have difficulty concentrating. Other symptoms can be depression, irritability, sexual dysfunction, and learning and memory difficulties.

Take the SleepPro Sleep Apnea Self-Test

Symptoms Checklist • Do you experience one or more?

  • Do you experience daytime sleepiness, no matter how many hours you spend in bed?
  • Do you snore loudly each night?
  • Does your breathing pause periodically while you sleep (10 seconds or longer)?
  • Do you often wake up with a dry mouth or sore throat?
  • Do you go to the bathroom frequently during the night?
  • During the day are you forgetful and have difficulty concentrating?
  • Do you often feel tired, fatigued or sleepy during the daytime?
  • Has anyone observed you stop breathing during sleep?
  • Do you have or are you being treated for high blood pressure?
  • Do you fall asleep at work, on the phone or while driving?
  • Are you prone to moodiness, irritability, or depression?

If you have answered yes to any of the above and your snoring is a problem or you think you may have sleep apnea, make an appointment to see your GP immediately – bearing in mind the risks of not doing so.

Health Risks of sleep apnea can include any of the following:

  • High blood pressure
  • Heart attack
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Cardiac arrhythmia
  • Stroke
  • Depression
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Diabetes

One simple step can reduce the risks to your health – even your life.

By John Redfern