Thanks to Dr. Ed Ring at Lakeshore Family Dentistry: http://www.lakeshorefamilydentistry.com/ Contributing Author of the following information.
Today I attended a really informative lecture by a gentleman named Dr Jeff Rouse (he’s a dentist). His focus was sleep as it relates to dentistry, but this goes very deep. Sleep relates to almost everything in our health (children and adults) as well as child development (from physiological to behavioral to psychosocial). Quality of sleep is critical, and in order to achieve quality sleep we must be able to breathe adequately while we sleep.
In a nutshell. Good unobstructed flow of oxygenated air is critical to enter or maintain a full cycle of REM sleep. Without adequate REM sleep our bodies cannot rest properly and literally cannot repair itself. So tons of different hormones get dumped into our systems to compensate for this situation and overcompensation occurs. This can cause inflammatory issues, high blood pressure, chronic fatigue, headaches, GERD, sleep onset insomnia (can’t get back to sleep), depression, chronic pain, anxiety, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, bruxism (grinding teeth), and TMJ problems to name a few.
In pregnant moms these factors can be huge because mom and developing baby need good air, good rest, and good regulation of hormones. Dr Jeff showed us research where Preeclampsia links heavily to airway resistance/obstruction syndromes. As we all know expecting moms experience weight gain and physical and physiological changes… And sleep changes (snoring, apnea, insomnia to name a few).
Sleep studies done on expecting moms diagnosed with preeclampsia show greatly elevated numbers of sleep apnea type events (for a simplistic term to label a broad range of sleep-respiratory events) and low oxygen saturation compared to non preeclampsia moms. In short, if you can maintain an open airway and hence good oxygenation and adequate sleep cycles, the preeclampsia symptoms diminish as well as many of the aforementioned symptoms which are also harmful to the developing child.
This information could be really critical to pregnancy health and developmental health of your child. If an expecting mom is having these issues, it’s really easy and non invasive to look at how she is sleeping. And some simple changes to get the air flowing again may make life a little less stressful for mom and baby during those months.