Even though women have been said to have sleep apnea, its recognition is relatively recent
because of the conventional understanding that men are more prone to sleep apnea. It might be
true that sleep apnea affects men more, but the health effects are severe among women. Sleep
apnea is a sleep disorder in which a person experiences uneven breathing during sleep and other
heart-related health problems or high blood pressure. Lack of awareness about sleep apnea
among women can have serious health consequences concerning the heart. A research study by
the American Academy of Sleep Medicine found that women and men have different sleep apnea
experiences due to physiological differences. Owing to this, the symptoms experienced by
women are starkly different.
Symptoms of sleep apnea in women
Some common symptoms in women are insomnia, daytime sleepiness, fatigue, mood
swings or frequent headaches. Obesity and overweight are some of the most commonly cited
reasons for sleep apnea among women. However, there are other factors for which women are at
greater risk for having this sleep disorder. Pregnant women, women with PCOS and who have
entered menopause are at higher risk of getting diagnosed with sleep apnea. As there are changes
in sleep patterns, weight gain and bodily changes in pregnant women, they are at risk of
developing sleep apnea and might show symptoms like high blood pressure. Due to hormonal
changes in the menopause phase, there are chances of uneven breathing during sleep.
How to manage sleep apnea?
Certain lifestyle changes are usually recommended to treat this sleep disorder. Some
include developing diets that have healthy impacts on the heart, limiting smoking, and managing
one’s weight. Healthy sleeping habits and being a side sleeper are known to promote good and
comfortable sleep, especially for pregnant women. Importikaah’s leg pillow boosts a proper
sleeping position for side sleepers by allowing your legs to fit in the crescent dent of the pillow.
One can keep the pillow between the thighs or calves while sleeping. It is also an excellent
maternity accessory for women who need free movement during sleep hours and want to reduce
the pressure of pain from the joints. Sleep apnea might be challenging to diagnose among women
as the symptoms are usually confused with other illnesses, and therefore, it is necessary to
maintain and follow healthy sleeping habits.