Progesterone is present in a wide spectrum of biological activity within a variety of tissues. This hormone is also known to affect reproduction, sleep quality, respiration, mood, appetite, learning, memory and sexual activity. Progesterone exerts a sleep induction or hypnotic effect and is a potent respiratory stimulant that has been associated to a decrease in the number of central and obstructive sleep apnea episodes in men. The literature also contains a substantial amount of data on the effect of apnea in women with obesity-hypoventilation during menopause. This review attempts to outline the specific role of progesterone in normal sleep and breathing as well as its possible therapeutic effects in the treatment of sleep-disordered breathing.