Why Menopause and Midlife Can Cause Sleep Apnoea

mid lifeSleep apnoea can affect both the young and the old. And since certain risk factors permit it, it can also affect women undergoing menopause. This is because when estrogen is low, the brain fails to signal the palate and tongue to retain its tone during sleep. As a result they over relax and block the airway.

A recent article from http://www.holisticcharlotte.com has featured some reasons why menopause and midlife can cause sleep apnoea:

  • Female hormones play a role in sleep. Some studies have suggested that female hormones may play a role in the response to hypoxia during sleep.

  • Many women begin to experience sleep problems during perimenopause (pre-menopause) and menopause, when estrogen production begins to decline.

  • Estrogen influences serotonin, an important brain chemical that transmits signals, including to the tongue and palate. The lack of estrogen affected the brain function involved in breathing. This is consistent with evidence that shows the incidence of sleep apnoea increases in women during midlife.

  • The rate of sleep apnoea also increases in midlife for men, as declining testosterone results in worse brain coordination for sleep. This helps explain why many people start snoring as they get older.

  • Middle-aged men tend to snore more and experience the cessation of breathing during sleep. Middle-aged women, however, more commonly complain of insomnia, headache, fatigue, and irritability related to poor sleep.

  • That estrogen deficiency promotes weight gain only compounds the problem of sleep apnoea.

  • Estrogen deficiency can also play a role in restless leg syndrome.

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Image  Courtesy of David Castilo Dominici / freedigitalphotos.net

Somnowell Inventor - Visiting Professor Simon Ash FDS MSc MOrth BDS

Prof. Ash is the inventor of the highly successful SOMNOWELL Chrome device for snoring and sleep apnoea.

The Somnowell Chrome is made to exacting standards in the Somnowell laboratory under the supervision of Visiting Professor Simon Ash. Prof. Ash and his master technicians create each Somnowell Chrome device using their wealth of experience and expertise.

Prof. Ash works at the forefront of his profession. He is a Consultant and Specialist Orthodontist with over 30 years clinical experience, with a special interest in sleep related breathing disorders, TMJD, and bruxism. He currently works in Harley Street London and two private hospitals in London as part of a multi-disciplinary team managing snoring and sleep apnoea, and is Visiting Professor of Orthodontics at the BPP University.