Women’s Sleep Issues

woman yawningIt is estimated that approximately 15 million American women have sleep apnea. Sleep apnea can affect women at any age, and is associated with other serious conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, heart failure and stroke. Pregnant women are at increased risk for developing sleep apnea as their weight gain puts increased pressure on their chest and neck, and the chronic oxygen deprivation experienced by women with untreated sleep apnea can increase the risk of serious damage to their baby. Snoring during pregnancy may be an indication of developing sleep apnea, and should not be ignored.  At the other end of the spectrum, a woman’s risk for sleep apnea increases as she transitions through menopause, so that a post-menopausal woman is up to three times more likely to have OSA compared to a premenopausal woman.

Studies have shown that women tend to have different types of sleep apnea related complaints than men, with more insomnia, disrupted sleep, chronic fatigue and depression. Since these aren’t the classic symptoms of sleep apnea, they are often attributed to being caused by something else. Also, women tend to be more “vigilant” sleepers and are more likely to worry about their bed-partners sleep.  Men are typically more sound sleepers and may be less likely to even be aware of abnormal sleep in their bed-partner.

Women & sleep apnea facts

woman fell asleep

  • Almost 40% of newly diagnosed sleep apnea patients are women
  • The risk of sleep apnea in women after menopause is equal to that of men
  • Insomnia and morning headaches are often the main indicators of sleep apnea in women
  • Women who snore are about twice as likely to have high blood pressure
  • Sleep apnea is related to a higher risk of depression and dementia in women

If you suspect you or someone you love may have sleep apnea after reading this, navigate back to our home page and select the tabs labeled “Sleepiness Survey” and “Bed Partner Survey”.  If you have concerns after reviewing the results, call us at Sleep Solutions Northwest for a consultation.

Here is how we are keeping you safe, particularly during the COVID-19 viral outbreak.


Pre and day-of appointment screening questions to determine infection risk.

Hand sanitizing gel and masks for all patients immediately upon entering.

“No touch” infrared forehead thermometer check before treatment.

Social distancing protocol and ‘sneeze guard’ shields at the reception desk.

Medical-grade HEPA filtration units for sanitation of the air we breathe in the office.

• PPE for clinical staff includes a gown, gloves, mask, eye protection and a face shield.

Disposable sterile single-use clinical instruments are utilized wherever possible.

Reusable instruments are packaged and sterilized in an autoclave before being returned to service. Delicate reusables are soaked overnight in a hospital-grade sterilant solution.

Our autoclave is tested AT LEAST weekly by an independent microbiology lab to confirm that our autoclave is working properly.

All exposed patient chair and work surfaces are sprayed and wiped down with a hospital-grade disinfecting solution that kills viruses and bacteria between patients.

High-touch areas like computer keyboards, mice, headrests and chair arms are covered with single-use disposable barriers that are replaced after each patient.

• New Mandibular Advancement Devices are disinfected twice: by the lab after fabrication and again in our office before delivery to a patient.


Thank you for entrusting us to keep you safe while we help you get a more restful night’s sleep. After all, getting quality sleep is one of the most important things you need to stay healthy!