One night CPAP withdrawal impairs performance at a driving simulator task faster than sleep restriction to 5 hours with treatment in OSA patients

Filtness, A.J., Reyner, L.A., & Horne, J.A. (2011) One night CPAP withdrawal impairs performance at a driving simulator task faster than sleep restriction to 5 hours with treatment in OSA patients. In WorldSleep 2011 : New Horizons of Sleep Research for our Planet, 16 to 20 October 2011, ICC, Kyoto. (Unpublished)



Sleep restriction and missing 1 night’s continuous positive air pressure (CPAP) treatment are scenarios faced by obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) patients, who must then assess their own fitness to drive. This study aims to assess the impact of this on driving performance.


11 CPAP treated participants (50–75 yrs), drove an interactive car simulator under monotonous motorway conditions for 2 hours on 3 afternoons, following;(i)normal night’s sleep (average 8.2 h) with CPAP (ii) sleep restriction (5 h), with CPAP (iii)normal length of sleep, without CPAP. Driving incidents were noted if the car came out of the designated driving lane. EEG was recorded continually and KSS reported every 200 seconds.


Driving incidents: Incidents were more prevalent following CPAP withdrawal during hour 1, demonstrating a significant condition time interaction [F(6,60) = 3.40, p = 0.006]. KSS: At the start of driving participants felt sleepiest following CPAP withdrawal, by the end of the task KSS levels were similar following CPAP withdrawal and sleep restriction, demonstrating a significant condition, time interaction [F(3.94,39.41) = 3.39, p = 0.018]. EEG: There was a non significant trend for combined alpha and theta activity to be highest throughout the drive following CPAP withdrawal.


CPAP withdrawal impairs driving simulator performance sooner than restricting sleep to 5 h with CPAP. Participants had insight into this increased sleepiness reflected by the higher KSS reported following CPAP withdrawal. In the practical terms of driving any one incident could be fatal. The earlier impairment reported here demonstrates the potential danger of missing CPAP treatment and highlights the benefit of CPAP treatment even when sleep time is short.

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ID Code: 66377
Item Type: Conference Item (Poster)
Refereed: No
Additional Information: At the time of presentation Ashleigh Filtness was affiliated with Loughborough University and Monash University
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Driving performance, Obstructive sleep apnoea, CPAP, CPAP withdrawal
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000) > PSYCHOLOGY (170100)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Centre for Accident Research & Road Safety - Qld (CARRS-Q)
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Psychology & Counselling
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2011 The Author(s)
Deposited On: 22 Jan 2014 00:07
Last Modified: 22 Jan 2014 00:08

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