PURPOSE: The reciprocal associations between stages of slow wave sleep (SWS) and apnic events during polysomnograpic (PSG) sleep studies is a common observation among sleep clinicians. However, there is little preclinical or human research that have explored this common phenomenon in patients with moderate to severe sleep apnea. The primary aim of this observational study was to investigate the relationship between stages of sleep and apnic events during PSG sleep studies.
METHODS: In this study, 30 adult participants (20 males and 10 females) were randomly selected from patients who completed a PSG sleep study during the year 2007 and were diagnosed with moderate or severe OSA (RDI>15).
RESULTS: We predicted that the latter stages of slow wave sleep (stages 3 and 4) would be associated with less apnic events when compared to other stages. Results from this study confirm our hypothesis and indicate a significantly decreased incidence of apnic events in stages 3 and 4 of slow wave sleep when compared to stages 1 and 2 (t(28)=4.36, p<.01).
CONCLUSION: Further research is needed in this area to better elucidate this association and determine if pharmacologic prolongation of these stages might be protective for OSA.
CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: Slow wave sleep may be protective for apnic events. Pharmacologically prolonging SWS may help alleviate some of the symptoms of OSA.
DISCLOSURE: Vincent Capaldi, No Financial Disclosure Information; No Product/Research Disclosure Information