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when women snore---sleep apnoea

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    Sunday Herald Sun
    Edition 1 - FIRSTSUN 11 AUG 2002, Page B11
    When Women Snore

    It's not just blokes who face health risks when it comes to snoring.

    Snoring can mean so much more than depriving your partner of sleep - it can lead to a condition called sleep apnoea (the temporary cessation of breathing), which poses a serious health problem. Pregnant women are at greater risk.
    Some Australian hospitals now run sleep disorder clinics which monitor those with problems. Poor sleep with constant partial wakening will inevitably lead to daytime drowsiness which may increase blood pressure and risks of angina, heart attacks and stroke, even in young people.
    And when it comes to pregnant snorers, a study carried out this year at Sweden's Umea University Hospital indicates that they have a significant increase in the risk of developing high blood pressure and delivering low birth weight babies.
    Of the more than 500 pregnant women checked, 24 per cent said that snoring increased during the last three months of pregnancy, with 23 per cent snoring nearly every night in the week before delivery. Of these, 11 per cent suffered sleep apnoea (compared with two per cent of infrequent snorers) and 14 per cent developed high blood pressure (compared with two per cent of infrequent snorers).
    The habitual snorers develop a serious condition called pre-eclampsia - something only four per cent of the infrequent snorers suffered. This is a serious complication that, if untreated, may lead to fits.
    Nor is the risk confined to the mother. The research also indicated lower Apgar scores (the series of checks made the moment baby is born, in which the higher the score, the healthier the child).
    Studies show that vast numbers of pregnant women sleep on their back as the size of the womb size increases.
    The mouth drops open and the uvula (the tiny flap at the back of the throat) reverberates with each respiration. Try to struggle onto your side when you sleep. You'll be doing yourself and your unborn babe a big favour - not to mention your partner.
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