If you’re like most women who are going through menopausal stages, it’s time to stop thinking that your sleeping problems are due to hormonal changes. Experiencing hot flashes, night sweats, daytime sleepiness, poor concentration, and short-term memory can be signs of something more serious than menopause. There’s a probability that you’re probably experiencing obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA)
A study published by the journal of The North American Menopause Society (NAMS) has revealed the connection between menopause and obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA). As women continue to age, gain weight and reach perimenopausal and postmenopausal status, the possibility of having OSA also increases. During the study, NAMS found out that 53% of perimenopausal and postmenopausal women who are experiencing sleeping problems are revealed to be having OSA. In fact, perimenopausal and postmenopausal women who are experiencing severe hot flashes have 1.87 times higher risk for OSA than women who are experiencing mild or no hot flashes at all.
Dr. JoAnn Pinkerton, NAMS Executive Director said that sleep disruption is a very common complaint during menopausal stages. Early morning headaches or excessive daytime sleepiness should not be taken lightly and raise concern for obstructive sleep apnoea and signal a possible need for sleep apnoea testing.
The symptoms of OSA in women are different than the obvious symptoms men encounter like loud snoring. Women often experience headaches, insomnia, hot flashes, fatigue, depression, and anxiety, which makes it more challenging to diagnose OSA in women.
The risk of sleep disorders like OSA are endless; heart disease, stroke, hypertension, depression, death and more. But it can also make a great impact on your daily life and it includes:
- Waking unrefreshed,
- Daytime sleepiness,
- Poor concentration,
- Weight gain,
- Reduced libido,
- Frequent nighttime urination,
- Acid reflux,
- Higher chance of car accidents,
- Weakened immune system, and
- Damage to business and personal relationships.
So, if you think that your menopausal symptoms may actually cause by sleep disorders like OSA, it’s important to do something about it. Speak to your doctor or your local GP as soon as possible or you can complete an online Sleep Self-Assessment Questionnaire to learn more about your sleep health.