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Alaska Sleep Education Center

Guidelines To Keep You And Baby Healthy During Pregnancy

Posted by Guest Blogger: Jane Sandwood on Jun 3, 2019 10:34:00 AM

Proper nutrition is vital during pregnancy; getting enough of certain vitamins and minerals helps protect your baby from neural tube defects, prevents low birth weight, and promotes healthy development. What you eat during pregnancy also impacts your health, and by managing your weight through diet and exercise, you can reduce your risk of developing gestational diabetes, preeclampsia and pregnancy insomnia. 

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Topics: women, pregnancy, baby

Women Under-report Prevalence and Intensity of Their Own Snoring

Posted by AASM Staff - https://aasm.org on Jun 1, 2019 12:38:00 PM

DARIEN, IL – A new study of adults who were referred for evaluation of a suspected sleep disorder suggests that women tend to under-report snoring and underestimate its loudness.

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Topics: women, underdiagnosed

Menopause and Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Posted by Jennifer Hines on Mar 14, 2019 7:38:00 AM

As women enter menopause, a decrease in the production of certain hormones causes many physical and emotional changes.  Along with hot flashes and mood fluctuations, breathing issues, such as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), can be more severe.  Learn about the connection between menopause, sleep and OSA—and what you can do about it.

What is OSA? 

OSA is a condition in which breathing is temporarily paused and interrupted during sleep. It can present itself as snoring or gasping for breath, and is generally triggered by the throat muscles relaxing too much during the night. This causes the airway to close, leading to the gasping sensation.  More than 18 million adults have sleep apnea, and while it is more common in men, the odds of experiencing OSA increase in women during and after menopause. There’s also an increased risk if you have family members with sleep apnea, if you’re overweight, or if you smoke or drink.  

Why does menopause make it worse?

During menopause, levels of the hormones estrogen and progesterone decrease in women’s bodies. These hormones act as stimulants and play a role in keeping airways open by maintaining muscle tone in the throat. As they decrease, the chances of obstructed breathing rise.  What’s more, hormonal changes can lead to weight gain and a redistribution of body fat, sending more fat to the throat area , which can cause disrupted breathing.

How can it be treated? 

Speak with your doctor about your symptoms. In some cases, a low dose of hormone therapy might be prescribed.  For mild cases of OSA, your physician may suggest lifestyle changes, like losing weight or cutting back on pre-bedtime alcoholic beverages. For moderate or severe cases of sleep apnea, using a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine when you sleep could be the answer. This device moves air pressure through a mask that you wear over your nose and helps keep your upper airways open which helps you stay asleep. 

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Topics: women, OSA, menopause

Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus; but we ALL need good sleep here on Planet Earth.

Posted by Stefanie Leiter on Feb 22, 2019 8:00:00 AM

At bedtime, you may get into the routine of brushing your teeth, taking a shower, and laying out clothes for the morning at the same time as your partner or spouse. It may even follow with some light stretching, meditation, or yoga.

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Topics: women, beauty sleep, couples, men

Sleep Apnea and Breast Cancer Survival

Posted by Jennifer Hines on Oct 2, 2018 1:06:09 PM

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

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Topics: women, life with sleep apnea, cancer

Heart Attack Symptoms in Women

Posted by Jennifer Hines on Aug 24, 2018 12:47:00 PM

This blog began with me reading stories from women (many in their 30s and 40s) who suffered from serious heart attacks.  As I read through the entire post, I knew it was pertininet to share the findings with Alaska Sleep Clinic's blog readers. We know that younger women can have heart attacks, and it’s acknowledged that doctors are not good at picking up heart attack symptoms in younger women.

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Topics: women, life with sleep apnea, sleep deprivation, wellness

Sleepless in Seattle?  Why Women Need More Sleep Than Their Guys

Posted by Julia Higginson on Mar 14, 2018 10:00:00 AM

Women need more sleep than men. No, really; no matter how you spin it, research shows that men and women are biologically designed to need different amounts of sleep.

Current research shows that women need an average of twenty to thirty minutes more of sleep each night than men. And while women need more sleep, research also shows that most women aren’t getting the rest they need.

Sleep is essential to a woman’s well being. Understanding why they need more sleep and why many women are missing out one needed rest is paramount.

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Topics: women, losing sleep

Women with Sleep Apnea: Why Women are Less Often Diagnosed with OSA

Posted by Jennifer Hines on Mar 8, 2018 8:08:00 AM

When we think about the typical sleep apnea patient, we often picture a heavyset man over forty years old with a thick neck and an earth-rattling snore. And while this image often does fit the profile of a sleep apnea patient, it by no means represents a complete picture of the demographic of sleep apnea sufferers.

Contrary to popular belief, sleep apnea patients come in all shapes, sizes, races, genders, and can even have symptoms atypical of those common for sleep apnea. For instance, not all sleep apnea sufferers snore, many are not obese or even overweight, and not all of them are male.

Here we discuss the prevalence of sleep apnea in women and why they are often an under-diagnosed and under-served population suffering from this sleep disorder.

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Topics: sleep apnea, women

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