While the sleep disorder, sleep apnoea (a condition in which sleep is disrupted when the airway relaxes and prevents normal breathing), is far more commonly linked with men, women of any age can be affected. Figures from NICE suggest that around 2% of women in the UK suffer from sleep apnoea (equating to 402,000 women) but up to 94% of this figure remain undiagnosed and untreated.
Together with ResMed, a global leader in sleep and respiratory medicine
, the BOTTLE public relations team developed a campaign to draw attention to the number of women suffering from sleep apnoea and profile ResMed’s new ‘For Her’ treatment range.
BOTTLE commissioned an online focus group with YouGov, which invited anonymous feedback from women under the age of 50 who admit they snore. The aim of the study was to gain a better understanding of the feelings women have about their snoring and how it affects their day-to-day lives and relationships.
The most striking finding was the level of embarrassment women feel about their snoring and the humiliation felt when partners, friends and family teased them about this. Respondents indicated a direct correlation with this and a negative impact on their feelings around femininity. Despite participants admitting that they were aware that excessive snoring can be an indicator of potential health issues, all of them said they would not consider visiting their GP to discuss the problem.
Using the data generated from the study, BOTTLE developed a report and accompanying press release to share with the media. Other materials generated included a video of a female sleep apnoea sufferer snoring and commentary from a clinical specialist. The report was covered in The Scottish Sun and Daily Mail, and ongoing interest has been generated within the HCP media.