Pregnant or not, It was always a running joke with my friends and family that I couldn't sit down without falling asleep. I could fall asleep mid-conversation. It didn't matter if I was in the car, watching TV, in church, on the phone, or yes, even on the toilet. If I had a moment when my body wasn't in motion, it just shut off. And for pretty much my whole life, I thought that was normal.
At night when I slept, I thought everything was cool (other than the fact that I would get up three or four times a night to pee). From my perspective, I was sleeping well. I remember occasionally waking up and rolling over or on rare occasions, sitting straight up for no apparent reason. But for the most part, I would've told you I was a heavy sleeper.
From an outsider's perspective though, it was another story. I snored loudly. But from what I've been told, it wasn't a constant snore. I would have long periods of silence followed by one big, loud snore. I gasped a lot in my sleep and would wake up with headaches and sore throats pretty often...but again, I just figured that was all normal.
Turns out, I was tested for Sleep Apnea, a disorder which causes your airway to close while you are sleeping, and was a classic case. I went in for a sleep study and was shocked to find out that I was actually waking up over ten times an hour, my oxygen levels were low, and I was rarely getting into the REM stage of sleep. I was prescribed a special machine that I put on when sleeping called a CPAP. It blows air into my mouth/nose in order to keep my airway open. It took me a few days to get used to it, but now, four years later, I can't sleep at all without it.
I don't say all of that just because. I feel like getting this problem diagnosed and treated has really changed my life for the better. I actually wake up feeling like I am well rested, I am not as stressed out, and I am not falling asleep in the car or on city streets any more. And more and more studies are proving that untreated apnea causes an increase in blood pressure, heart and liver problems, memory issues, depression, not to mention the simple daytime fatigue.
Obesity is a big risk factor for Apnea (although thin people can develop it as well). As much as I do appreciate and rely on my CPAP machine now, getting rid of it is one of my biggest motivators to lose some weight. The idea of being able to roll over without a hose getting tangled up on my arm is nice. And it just looks pretty ridiculous. I feel like I'm putting on a bio-hazard mask every night before bed.
If you even suspect that you might have sleep apnea, I would seriously recommend getting a sleep study done just to be sure. It's painless and simple. They just glue some wires to different points on your body and send you to bed in a comfortable room. You can wear your own pajamas, take your own pillows, and make a real night out of it. :) If it turns out that you do have it, I promise you that you will be amazed at the difference it makes to get it treated.
If you want some more information, I have found this page to be helpful and accurate: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/sleep-apnea/DS00148
Until then...sweet dreams.