Common indicators of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) include snoring, daytime fatigue, and physical signs of apnoeic episodes such as choking or gasping during sleep. Most of which have been observed in male studies.
Recent reports have found that women are just as likely to suffer from sleep apnea but their symptoms are different, and therefore often mistaken for other changes within their body. Symptoms can be confused with:
- Onset of menopause
- Changes of cognitive function during pregnancy, aka “Baby Brain”
- Getting older
- Hormonal imbalances
- Leading a busy and/or stressful lifestyle
Females with OSA show less signs of daytime sleepiness and fatigue, and instead experience other conditions such as insomnia, restless legs, depression, and hypertension1. In addition, research indicates that women can become more susceptible to sleep disordered breathing during pregnancy and post-menopause due to hormonal changes2.