Sleep apnea is one of many hypothyroidism symptoms. It can cause daytime drowsiness, difficulty concentrating, memory issues, and mood changes.
Sleep apnea also causes your upper airway to collapse, thereby stopping breathing and interrupting sleep. Sleep apnea can be caused by obesity, certain facial and airway features, older age, being male, and having a history of snoring.
It is also a common symptom in conditions, like hypothyroidism, that involve hormones and metabolism. One of many hypothyroidism symptoms, sleep apnea results from the thickening of the throat walls and nasal passageways that arise during hypothyroidism (Attal & Chanson, 2010).
When those with hypothyroidism are treated, the occurrence of sleep apnea decreases or even goes away entirely.
If you are experiencing unexplained interruptions in your sleep and/or excessive daytime sleepiness, you may have an undiagnosed thyroid condition and should arrange a thyroid test with your healthcare provider.
Attal, P., & Chanson, P. (2010). Endocrine Aspects of Obstructive Sleep Apnea.The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 95(2), 483-495. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1210/jc.2009-1912
Neal, J. M, & Yuhico, R. J. O. (2012). “Myxedema Madness” Associated with Newly Diagnosed Hypothyroidism and Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, 8(6), 717-718. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5664/jcsm.2274
Spicuzza, L., Caruso, D., & Di Maria, G. (2015). Obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome and its management. Therapeutic advances in chronic disease, 6(5), 273-285. Retrieved from http://doi.org/10.1177/2040622315590318