For today's blog post, we spoke to sleep expert Olivia Arezzolo for some tips for mums-to-be on how to sleep better during pregnancy
Pregnancy can be hard enough, and right now there are lots of soon to be parents
counting down the days before they meet their little one. Just when they think that
they have experienced it all and are on the home stretch, mums-to-be (and their bed
partners) are often surprised to find themselves snoring during pregnancy. A fairly
common problem, especially in the third trimester.
According to Mute Snoring and the British Snoring and Sleep Apnoea Association, 23
percent of women snore during pregnancy, with the two main culprits being
hormones and weight gain. Changes in hormone levels dilate blood vessels and
cause mucous membranes to swell in the nose. This causes congestion and a
narrowing of the nasal passages forcing pregnant mums to breathe through your
mouth as they sleep, and, more often than not, snore.
Thankfully, for many it’s only a temporary (and noisy) habit and there are ways to
reduce the noise. Australia’s leading sleep expert Olivia Arezzolo understands the
nuances of sleep and the effects that pregnancy can have.
Here are Olivia’s top five tips to reduce snoring to ensure mums-to-be get the quality
sleep that they need, while they can!
1. Keep moving, albeit gently
Rather than giving up your fitness regime, tweak it so it's pregnancy friendly.
This will help with reducing excessive weight gain which may otherwise
heighten snoring. There are plenty of options available from pilates and yoga
to aqua aerobics, find what works best for you.
2. Reduce allergens in your bedroom
While what you consciously ingest is important to consider, equally, what we
unconsciously ingest from our environment is too. Dust, pollution and
allergens can aggravate airways and heighten snoring, so being mindful to
minimise such toxins is key. A himalayan salt lamp could be a simple solution
plus they also look great in your room!
3. Open up your airways
If I didn’t experience this first hand, I wouldn’t believe it works so well - but it
does, the Mute Snoring nasal dilator. Statistically speaking, 75% of snorers
snore less when they use the gentle nose dilator. And, from personal
experience, this changes snoring from a roaring horn to a faint whistle.
4. Eat anti-inflammatory foods
While pregnancy is the time you need to eat and nourish yourself and bub, if
you’re clever, you can do this and reduce the risk of snoring at the same time.
Specifically, anti-inflammatory foods such as berries, citrus fruits, avocado, fatty
fish like salmon and tuna and olive oil are advised.
5. Avoid pro-inflammatory foods
Pro-inflammatory foods may exacerbate snoring, and as such, should be
avoided. Aim to reduce your intake of refined sugar, and products which
contain it - cakes, lollies, cookies; vegetable oils such as canola and sunflower
oil; and of course, alcohol.