Sleep Disorders

12 April 2013

Treating sleep apnoea pays off at work

As nighttime ZZZZs improve, so does daytime productivity.

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Treating sleep apnoea, a common sleep disorder, boosts people's productivity at work, according to a new study.

Sleep apnea interrupts breathing during sleep, causing people with the condition to wake up throughout the night. Previous research has shown that people with sleep apnoea are less productive at work, usually because of excessive daytime sleepiness.

The new study looked at whether using continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) during sleep improved the participants' productivity. With CPAP, a patient wears a mask connected to a machine that sends pressurised air into the throat to keep the airway open throughout the night.

How the study was done

The study included 45 people, aged 40 to 56, with sleep apnoea who completed questionnaires before and after three months of CPAP treatment.

The 35 patients who closely followed the treatment program had significant improvements in their daytime sleepiness levels and in their work productivity, but this was not the case for the 10 patients who did not follow the treatment program, the investigators found.

"Continuous positive airway pressure is the gold standard treatment for moderate-to-severe obstructive sleep apnoea," study lead author Dr Evangelia Nena said in a European Lung Foundation news release. "Previous research has shown the potential benefits of CPAP to patients' health and quality of life, and our findings add to this body of evidence, demonstrating the advantages the treatment can have on productivity at work."

Data and conclusions of research presented at meetings typically are considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed medical journal.

More information

The US National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute has more about sleep apnoea.

(Copyright © 2013 HealthDay. All rights reserved.)

Copyright © 2016 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

 

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Sleep disorders expert

Dr Alison Bentley is a general practitioner who has consulted in sleep medicine and sleep disorders, in both adults and children of all ages, for almost 30 years. She also researches and publishes on a number of sleep-related topics both in formal research journals and lay publications including as editor of Sleep Matters, an educational newsletter on sleep disorders for doctors.

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