Menopause and sleep apnea share some symptoms that make them difficult to tell which is which. Poor sleep, daytime sleepiness, night sweats, mood changes, weight gain, and stress are overlapping symptoms. Luckily, the other menopause symptoms are relatively easy to distinguish. But it gets complicated when you learn your risk of sleep apnea rises significantly with menopause. You could be experiencing sleep apnea and menopause but mistake the severity of your symptoms for just menopause. Getting tested for sleep apnea could save you countless sleepless nights and relieve symptoms during this already difficult time.
Why Does the Risk Rise?
Many women don’t realize that they could have sleep apnea because it’s generally thought of as a man’s condition. It’s indeed more prevalent in men, but while it’s estimated to be present in one in four men, it’s also present in one in ten women. The odds are still high.
Women are protected from sleep apnea before menopause due to high levels of estrogen and progesterone, which tone airway muscles to keep it from collapsing. These hormones are one of the reasons the risk of sleep apnea is higher in men. So, when a woman loses the high levels of these hormones, muscle tone in the airway decreases, and obstruction becomes more likely.
Many women who are going through or have gone through menopause are unaware of the sleep apnea connection and don’t seek the treatment they need to get a good night’s sleep. If you think you may have sleep apnea, get tested and get treatment in Anchorage, AK, today.