The typical sleep apnea patient is a man, middle aged or older, who is likely overweight. However, women are also at risk for sleep disorders. There’s even what’s been nicknamed the “sleep disorders, a new study shows that they respond differently to them. This different response means that women may be even more likely to benefit from oral appliance therapy over CPAP.

Middle-aged couple sleeping in bed

Depression and Daytime Sleepiness

To determine how sex affected the impact of sleep disorders, researchers looked at 744 patients treated at seven general practices between 2013 and 2015. People were seeking treatment for a diverse number of sleep disorders, including sleep apnea and insomnia.

Patients weren’t all given sleep tests, but they were evaluated using several questionnaires, including the Epworth Sleepiness Scale, the Snoring Severity Scale, and the Functional Outcomes of Sleep Questionnaire 10.

Researchers then compared the results of these questionnaires and found that there were significant differences between the sexes when it came to snoring and sleep disorders. They found that women were more likely to report severe depression, daytime sleepiness, and say they had trouble sleeping. In addition, women were more likely to say they felt burdened by their symptoms.

However, women and men weren’t always different. In fact, there is one surprising similarity. Men and women were equally likely to be disturbed by their partners’ snoring. However, men were more likely to driver their partners from the room.

Targeted Treatment Response

In order to get the best treatment results, we have to remember that the best treatment isn’t just based on the severity of the disorder, but also on the person’s response to it. This is where sleep dentists can really help.

When women are already feeling disproportionately burdened by their sleep symptoms, they may not want a treatment that is just going to be another burden. Unfortunately, that’s how CPAP can seem, with its mask, hose, pump, and who knows how many accessories. It can be something that makes them feel very self-conscious and can cause problems in their relationships.

On the other hand, a sleep appliance is a much subtler treatment. It is easily transported and discreet to use. Women may find that they not only get good results with a sleep appliance, they have a better experience. This can make them more likely to comply with treatment, which will make it more effective in the long term. With the DNA appliance, we even offer the potential of a cure from sleeping disorders.

If you are looking for a comfortable, convenient sleep apnea treatment in the San Jose area, please call (408) 354-5600 today for an appointment with sleep dentist Dr. Nancy Nehawandian at Top Down Dental in Los Gatos.