If you feel like your snoring has gotten worse since you’ve gotten pregnant, you’re not alone. Many women start to snore more often when they’re pregnant, especially in the third trimester. Some women who have never snored before develop the problem during pregnancy.
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The two most common reasons women start to snore while pregnant involve hormone changes and weight gain. The increase in estrogen levels causes the mucous membranes in the nose to swell up, making it more difficult to breathe. Pregnancy also causes an increase in blood volume, which makes the blood vessels expand. This contributes to the swelling of the nasal passages as well.
Weight gain, even the normal and necessary amount for pregnant women, can put more pressure on the neck and throat. The extra weight can cause the back of the mouth to partially collapse over the airway, which causes snoring.
Sleep-disordered breathing causes lots of negative health effects that could affect the health of the baby. When you snore, it often interrupts your sleep or prevents you from getting deep sleep, which causes drowsiness, headaches, memory problems, and other issues. Women who snored habitually before becoming pregnant may face more risks, like lower birth weights and C-section births.
Fortunately, there are plenty of easy, natural remedies to reduce or even eliminate sleep-disordered breathing during pregnancy. Here are seven tips to snore less:
1. Change your sleeping position
Sleeping on your back is one of the most common and easily fixable causes of sleep-disordered breathing. The excess weight puts pressure on your throat, causing the tongue to collapse and vibrate over the airway. Sleeping on your side relieves some of the pressure and can fix the problem right away.
If you don’t like sleeping on your side, try propping your head up with extra pillows while you sleep on your back. This can also reduce the pressure on your neck.
2. Open your nasal passages
Many pregnant women snore because of swollen nasal passages, but clearing them up is an easy and effective solution. Nasal strips, which you can purchase at a drugstore, pull your nostrils open and create more space in the nasal passages.
You can also try taking a hot shower right before you go to sleep to open up your nasal passages. Rinsing your nose with saltwater while in the shower can help, too. You can either purchase a saline solution or mix together half a teaspoon of salt, half a teaspoon of baking soda, and a cup of distilled water. Neti pots are also a helpful remedie for congested nasal passages.
3. Use a humidifier
A humidifier is a great remedy if you snore because of nasal congestion or if dry air worsens your allergies. Keep it turned on in your bedroom while you sleep to keep your nasal passages clear and open.
4. Have good sleep hygiene
If you’re extremely tired when you go to sleep, the muscles in your mouth and throat will relax excessively and collapse over your airway, causing sleep-disordered breathing. Make sure you get plenty of sleep every night and follow a regular sleeping schedule to prevent this from happening.
5. Avoid excess weight gain
It’s necessary to gain some weight while pregnant, but try to avoid gaining any more than your doctor’s recommendation. Even gaining just the recommended amount could cause you to snore, but extra weight will make the problem even worse.
6. Get rid of allergens in your room
If your nasal passages are already swollen because of hormone changes and increased blood volume, any allergens in your home will make your breathing difficult. Change your pillowcases regularly, and dust all the surfaces in your home. Dust or pet hair can accumulate quickly, and it can have a big impact on your breathing during sleep. If you have a ceiling fan in your bedroom, make sure you dust that off, too.
7. Avoid sleeping pills, alcohol, and tobacco
All pregnant women should avoid these substances for their own health and the health of their babies, but it’s especially important to avoid them to prevent snoring. Tobacco, alcohol, and sleeping pills can all cause your throat to collapse while you’re asleep.
Alternatively to all of these options you can also look for a stop snoring mouthpiece. See this page here for the available options.