Apnea gets worse in winter, according to a recent study published in the medical journal, 'Chest'.
"More sleep disordered breathing events were recorded in wintertime than in other seasons," wrote study leader Cristiane Maria Cassol from the Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil.
The study found patients had an average of 18 apnoeic events per hour during the winter months, but only 15 events per hour during the summer time. In Winter, about 34 percent of patients were diagnosed with severe sleep apnea, compared to 28 percent of patients during warmer weather.
Although the findings were noteworthy, the researchers said they could not determine whether it was the weather itself that was responsible for the more severe apnea. One theory is that the increase could be as a result of seasonal allergies. Another theory is that the increase is caused by people putting on extra weight in the cooler months.
Researchers used data from over 7,500 patients over a 10 year period. Humidity, temperature and air pollution at the time of the study were accounted for.
Regardless of the season, if you or someone you know might be suffering from sleep apnea then a diagnostic sleep study is needed to determine the nature and severity of the condition. These diagnostic sleep studies (polysomnograms) can now be performed in the comfort, convenience and privacy of the patient's own home. For more information, call 1300 246 637 or click the button below to make an online enquiry.