Women, especially peri and post menopausal women, develop symptoms of sleep apnoea very differently to their male counterparts.

Often snoring is NOT the key indicator. So while your partner is fast asleep snoring like a freight train you are wide awake, unaware when you do eventually fall asleep you are having breathing issues as well.

For women the symptoms often present as:

  • constant and persistent fatigue
  • headaches upon rising
  • regular need for power naps
  • waking with a dry mouth and back of throat
  • waking with a gasp
  • feeling like you haven't slept all night when you know you have been asleep
  • waking up often to urinate during the night
  • loss of short term memory
  • in ability to concentrate/foggy head throughout the day

Now it may feel like you could tick every one of these boxes. There are some symptoms listed here that cross over with other areas in menopause. Like B12 deficiency and anemia. This is why it is so important to have someone really look at your overall health. Not just prescribe to your symptoms. There is nothing more frustrating than knowing something isn't right and nothing showing up in test results. Often it's the wrong test...

So now what...

Lets make sure all your symptoms aren't sleep apnoea. Talk to your GP and get a referral to a Sleep Specialist.

There are a lot of pharmacy based sleep study options, but unfortunately they often miss sleep apnoea caused by menopause because they don't test enough parameters.

Level 3 or level 4 (Home sleep apnoea screener)

These are pharmacy based assessments that only look at 2-5 testing areas. Areas like if your chest movements up and down to show breathing and if air goes in and out of your nose. When dealing with apnoea caused by menopause you can still breath but with a restricted intake, causing your oxygen to decrease and giving you that horrible morning headache. Having restless legs could be another. Neither of these are assessed in a level 3 or level 4 assessment. So lets not waste any more time on assessments that aren't going to help you get the support your need.

Level 1 (Laboratory sleep study)

The most detailed assessment, performed in hospital overnight. They have someone physically watch you sleep all night, monitoring equipment and measuring 12 points during your sleep. Although many people would prefer to sleep in their own bed, this is taken into account when they collect the results. A level 1 assessment can sometimes be the only way to diagnose a complex case.

Level 2 (Home based sleep study)

Measures 8 points and you can sleep in your own bed at home. You with need to present into the sleep clinic or locally approved pharmacy to be wired up and then sent home to sleep. You return the equipment the next day and your sleep physician will contact you with the results.

By discussing the testing options with a sleep specialist, they will make sure you are getting the correct test so you only need the minimal disturbance to your day with the best results.

If you still aren't sure you are suffering with sleep apnoea or something else that may be affecting your sleep quality, then book in for a free 15 min phone chat with me and we can discuss it further.