Sonya dreamed she was drowning and woke up choking and gasping for air.

She was tired all the time, grabbing quick cat naps in the middle of the day when she could to try and shake off the lethargy and brain fog.

Once a sound sleeper, Sonya just couldn’t make it through the night, sometimes getting up hourly to go to the bathroom, even though she wasn’t drinking more than usual. What was going on?

Sleep apnea was going on.

She took an at-home sleep test and was diagnosed with mild-to-moderate sleep apnea, meaning her body was waking multiple times an hour throughout the night to start breathing again.

Sleep apnea and menopause

Sleep apnea is dangerous – heart disease, stroke, dementia, diabetes, and depression are all associated with sleep apnea – and women in menopause are particularly vulnerable. To make matters worse, it can take 10 years for women to get a diagnosis and begin treatment.

For more information, we talked to Dr. Katharine Christian, dentist and specialist in dental sleep medicine. She is the Dental Director of the Seattle Snoring and Sleep Apnea Center and Board Certified by the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine, and thanks to her, Sonya is finally able to get a good night’s sleep.

Hear from Dr. Christian on the sleep apnea’s signs and solutions. And hear Sonya tell us why it took so very long to get a diagnosis and how treating her sleep apnea changed her life.

 

To try the exercises Dr. Christian mentioned, check out the Sleep Apnea Exercise Training video on YouTube. Stay tuned for a full transcript of our conversation with Dr. Christian and Sonya.

Do you suffer from sleep apnea? We’d love to hear what you’ve done to treat it – CPAP? or did you choose an oral appliance? Did getting a diagnosis and treatment make life easier? Please share with the community by leaving us a comment below, or talking to us on our Facebook page or in Midlife & Menopause Solutions, our closed Facebook group.

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Shannon Perry

Shannon is a celebrated author and global educator. Whether she’s interviewing a physician or producing a podcast, her appetite for research, facts, and truth culminates in credible health education and programming that women can rely on. An avid runner, cyclist, and climber, Shannon knows a thing or two about thriving in midlife and lives in Seattle with her cat, dog and boyfriend.

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