17 Nov 2016

How common is sleep apnea and who is at risk?

A lot of people wonder how common sleep apnea is and who is at risk. Sleep apnea is extremely common and it doesn’t discriminate. Because most people believe that sleep apnea affects one age group, gender and weight range, many miss sleep apnea symptoms in themselves.

In truth, it affects men and women, young and old, and fit and overweight people and can also be hereditary. In Australia, sleep apnea affects 3 in 10 men and 2 in 10 women1.

Sleep apnea symptoms2

A few of the common sleep apnea symptoms include loud snoring, lack of energy, daytime sleepiness, morning headaches, high blood pressure and depression. Your partner might even be giving you clues like telling you that you snore or stop breathing during sleep.

Who’s at risk?

There are many different types of people who think they couldn’t possibly have sleep apnea, like younger women. But young, fit women can still have sleep apnea. Even children can suffer from sleep apnea, and there are special treatment options available that take into account their bone structure, facial characteristics and skin sensitivity to minimise pressure on soft faces. There are comfortable and effective treatment for sleep apnea available for all sufferers.

If you think you or a loved one could be suffering from sleep apnea, start by taking a sleep quiz and talking to your doctor. To help you with your conversation with a doctor, download “The ultimate guide to understanding your sleep issues” for up-to-date terminology and a sleep diary to help you and your doctor identify potential threats to your sleep.

Understanding Your Sleep - ResSleep


  1. Increased Prevalence of Sleep-Disordered Breathing in Adults. Peppard PE et al.Am J Epidemiol. 2013 (5.17) 
  2. Obstructive Sleep Apnea - http://www.sleephealthfoundation.org.au/public-information/fact-sheets-a-z/191-obstructive-sleep-apnea.html