Snoring during pregnancy may mean greater risk for gestational diabetes

September 22, 2015

Facco said snoring during pregnancy may be triggered by weight gain and edema (a buildup of fluid), which can increase airway resistance. Exactly how the snoring is linked to gestational diabetes is not yet known.

About 4 percent of pregnant women develop gestational diabetes, a condition in which women without previously diagnosed diabetes develop high blood sugar levels during pregnancy. Babies born to mothers with gestational diabetes are at increased risk of problems such as being large for gestational age, which may lead to delivery complications. These babies may also have low blood sugar levels and are at increased risk of becoming obese or developing impaired sugar tolerance or metabolic syndrome later in life.

While gestational diabetes usually resolves after pregnancy, women who develop it are at higher risk for type 2 diabetes later in life.

Facco said further studies are needed to understand the association between snoring and gestational diabetes and to develop interventions to treat sleep disorders during pregnancy.

"If snoring is bothering a woman who is pregnant, she should seek a consultation with a sleep specialist," Facco said.

In related study, also to be presented at the SLEEP 2009 meeting, Facco found sleep disturbances such as restless legs syndrome and insomnia increase significantly during pregnancy.