PCOS and Sleep Apnoea

Posted by Blooms The Chemist on 22 Feb 2024

PCOS and Sleep Apnoea

Women who experience polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), which is a health condition that impacts a woman’s hormone levels, may have a higher risk of suffering from obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA)1.

Obstructive sleep apnoea is a common and serious sleep disorder that causes you to stop breathing during sleep. Your airway repeatedly becomes blocked while you sleep, which limits the amount of oxygen that reaches your lungs.

How are sleep apnoea and PCOS connected?

Studies have shown that the risk for obstructive sleep apnoea is at least 5-to-10 fold higher in women with PCOS than those without2.

“For women with PCOS, sleep apnea can exacerbate other PCOS symptoms such as tiredness, difficulty losing weight, hypertension and insulin resistance,” says Dr. Dokras to Penn Medicine.

“Of course, many women report feeling tired, but some also say they feel depressed and experience unexplained moodiness.”

Another study showed that people who suffer from PCOS are likely to suffer from obstructive sleep apnoea, which also accelerates other health issues that are associated with obstructive sleep apnoea, like type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and more3.

The hormonal imbalances that occur with PCOS, which include decreased production of the hormone progesterone, can impact sleep, as this sleep hormone has an important sleep stabilising effect.

What can I do?

If you’ve got PCOS, learn and understand the symptoms of obstructive sleep apnoea, which include daytime sleepiness, trouble sleeping and snoring. 

After observing your sleep patterns (or asking your partner if they’ve noticed anything like you stopping breathing during sleep), it might be time to book a sleep apnoea test at your local Blooms The Chemist.

Our friendly team are here to help you get on the journey to better sleep. We hope to see you soon.


1American Academy of Sleep Medicine, Women with PCOS may have higher risk of sleep apnea, accessed February 2 2024

2National Library of Medicine, Polycystic Ovary Syndrome and Obstructive Sleep Apnea, accessed February 19 2024

3Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Is Associated with Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Daytime Sleepiness: Role of Insulin Resistance, accessed February 19 2024