Sleep Apnea and Menopause

Sleep Apnea

"Menopause sleep disorders are mostly caused by disturbed hormone levels. Estrogen declination causes a variety of physical side effects including a decrease in serotonin (chemical in the brain), which is used to create melatonin (sleep hormone). Without a balanced level of estrogen, the body is not able to produce the right amount of neither serotonin nor melatonin. Therefore maintaining a balanced estrogen level is important to control and prevent menopause sleep disorders.
While new moms and pregnant women are suffering, they are not suffering the most. Yes, more pregnant and post partum women experience insomnia a few nights each week than other age groups but when it comes to sleep disorders, such as snoring, restless leg syndrome and sleep apnea, a condition characterized by difficulty breathing, post-menopausal women are having the hardest time. 50% of post-menopausal women, more than any other women’s age group, said they experienced a sleep disorder, according to the poll. Six out of ten women in this group said they battled insomnia." Source: CBS News
Look how the signs of sleep apnea mimic many of the signs of menopause.
                   What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Sleep Apnea? Major Signs and Symptoms
One of the most common signs of obstructive sleep apnea is loud and chronic (ongoing) snoring. Pauses may occur in
the snoring. Choking or gasping may follow the pauses.
The snoring usually is loudest when you sleep on your back; it might be less noisy when you turn on your side.
You might not snore every night. Over time, however, the snoring can happen more often and get louder.
You're asleep when the snoring or gasping happens. You likely won't know that you're having problems breathing or be
able to judge how severe the problem is. A family member or bed partner often will notice these problems before you
Not everyone who snores has sleep apnea.
Another common sign of sleep apnea is fighting sleepiness during the day, at work, or while driving. You may find
yourself rapidly falling asleep during the quiet moments of the day when you're not active. Even if you don't have daytime
sleepiness, talk with your doctor if you have problems breathing during sleep.
Others signs and symptoms of sleep apnea include:
Morning headaches
Memory or learning problems and not being able to concentrate
Feeling irritable, depressed, or having mood swings or personality changes
Waking up frequently to urinate
Dry mouth or sore throat when you wake up
(In children, sleep apnea can cause hyperactivity, poor school performance, and angry or hostile behavior. Children who
have sleep apnea also may breathe through their mouths instead of their noses during the day.)
Women are often diagnosed in error with one of the following conditions, rather than sleep apnea.
                •Cardiac or pulmonary illnesses
                •Fatigue from overwork
                •Menopausal changes
There are many problems that can be the result of having sleep apnea. There are many people that have to deal with the
fact that they are going to have a hard time dealing with the day ahead of them. They may feel tired and restless
because they did not get enough sleep the night before. However, there are other problems that can happen because of
lack of sleep.
There are health problems that many people will face because they are having difficulty sleeping. When a person is
suffering from sleep apnea, they are going to have pauses in their breathing. During these pauses in breathing, the
oxygen level in the blood drops. The brain will react to the drop in oxygen by waking up the person for long enough to
resume breathing again.
For some, snoring is often the result of having sleep apnea. The cycle of snoring and not breathing will mean that you do
not get enough of the quality sleep that is so necessary for a person to function properly. If a person does not get the
quality sleep that they need each night, it will in turn take a toll on their body and their performance during the next day.
Sleep apnea is when you stop breathing while you are sleeping. This causes many things, stress on your heart, brain
and on your lungs, not to mention your arms and legs, if they are not getting the oxygen needed. All of us know someone
who snores, or perhaps you are the one that snores. If you are snoring all the time, heavily and you wake up feeling tired,
and you have a headache, it is quite possible that you are suffering with sleep apnea. Sleep apnea prevents you from
getting the rest you need when you are sleeping, because your body is actually fighting for air when you are sleeping.
If you know someone who snores, or you have heard the noises that happen when sleeping, that give the idea that a
person is not breathing while they are sleeping, you owe it to them to tell them about it. The gurgling noises, or snorts
that are accompanied by snoring are signs that the person is not breathing properly while sleeping, and this can lead to
long-term problems. Another term for this type of snoring, for the inability to breath while sleeping is obstructive sleep
apnea. A visit with your family doctor can help determine if the tonsils are inflamed or if the adenoids are too large to
permit proper breathing.
Snoring occurs when you are breathing, during sleep, no matter which way you are laying in the bed or on the couch.
Sometimes turning you over is going to ease up on the snoring, but the snoring most often times will occur again and
again. If you are keeping other people awake with your snoring this is a sign that you are snoring too loud, and too
much, and that you could be suffering from sleep apnea.
 If you are known to snore a little bit, or that you snore just sometimes, you have a partial blockage. The person who
snores all the time has obstructive snoring, and these are two different situations. The person who snores just
sometimes, can find relief with some over the counter type of medications, or by sleeping in a specific manner .The
person who has obstructive sleep apnea or that is snoring all the time, can find relief from surgery.
A sleep study is going to show what type of snoring you have, or that if you are suffering from sleep apnea. There are
occasions when someone will snore, but there is not actual loss of breath, which is associated with sleep apnea. A
sleep study will provide more information about how long you are not breathing, how long it is between snores or other
noises. A sleep study is going to show if the heart is under stress and if oxygen is reaching the blood and the
extremities of the body. 

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