Sleep apnea symptoms in women

April 29, 2017 |  by  |  Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea in women is often misdiagnosed. The classic symptoms of sleep apnea are generally more typical to men and not to women. One of the key signs of sleep apnea is snoring and generally speaking women do not tend to snore as much as men. If women do snore it is often much quieter than that of a man and the traditional symptom for male sleep apnea is that of loud snoring. Since women are affected with sleep apnea it is very important to know the sleep apnea symptoms for women. Let’s take a look at some of the key sleep apnea in women.


Women in general often have more trouble falling asleep then men. Women also tend to be light sleepers where men can pretty much sleep through anything. This is important to note since in most cases it will be the women waking up and discovering that there partner is snoring loudly. This could also mean that the woman is hearing the gasping for air that her partner may be experiencing. All of this can lead to a quicker diagnosis for the partner. The reserve is also true in the fact that since men are sound asleep they will not hear if their partner is snoring and in fact gasping for air. While not all women will snore with sleep apnea there have been cases where they do.

Some of the more common sleep apnea symptoms for women include the following:

  • Difficulty sleeping- Many women will report having a hard time falling asleep or staying asleep. Since there are many reasons for this, women often chalk it up to stress or bouts of insomnia. However difficulty sleeping is one of the more common sleep apnea symptoms for women.
  • Chronic fatigue- Both men and women who have sleep apnea will suffer from this.
  • Morning headaches
  • Edema or swelling of the feet- One of the sleep apnea symptoms in women that differ from men is the swelling of the feet. Edema can be caused by a number of other medical issues and this is one of the reasons why sleep apnea in women often goes undiagnosed.
  • Restless leg syndrome- This is the feeling that no matter what you do you just cannot get comfortable. Your legs are restless and some women have this so severe that they need to get out of bed and walk around the house. Others will just struggle with kicking and moving the legs around until this passes.
  • Dry mouth
  • High blood pressure
  • Unexplained weight gain- This is another one of the sleep apnea symptoms that differs from men. Again unexplained weight gain can be linked to many other medical conditions.

Doctors often rule out sleep apnea in women due to the fact that most of the above symptoms can be tied to other medical conditions. Understanding what the sleep apnea symptoms in women are can give you better feel for if you or someone you love may be suffering from this sleep disorder.

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