Continuous positive air pressure treatment for obstructive sleep apnoea patients : effects on sleep quality and quantity as measured by actigraphy

Filtness, A.J. & Reyner, L.A. (2010) Continuous positive air pressure treatment for obstructive sleep apnoea patients : effects on sleep quality and quantity as measured by actigraphy. In 20th Congress of the European Sleep Research Society, 14 to 18 September 2010, Lisbon. (Unpublished)



Actigraphy can reliably assess sleep in healthy adults and be used to estimate total sleep time in suspected obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) patients. We compared sleep quality for Continuous Positive Air Pressure (CPAP) treated OSA patients and controls, evaluating the impact of stopping CPAP for one night.


11 men, aged 51–75 years (m = 65.6 years), compliant CPAP users, treated for 1–19 years (m = 7.8 years) wore Cambridge Neurotechnology Ltd actiwatches for one night while using CPAP and for one night sleeping without CPAP. A control group of 11 healthy men, aged 63–74 years (m = 64.1 years) slept normally whilst wearing an actiwatch. Subsequent daytime sleepiness was recorded using Karolinska sleepiness scores (KSS).


Actimetry showed no significant differences between actual sleep time, sleep efficiency, sleep disturbance index or number of wake bouts when comparing OSA participants using CPAP, with controls; there was no difference in subsequent daytime sleepiness, control KSS = 4.21, OSA KSS = 4.17. Without CPAP there was no significant difference in sleep length or sleep onset latency compared with using CPAP, but there was a significant impact on sleep quality as shown by: increased sleep disturbance index from 7.9 to 13.8 [t(10) = 3.510, P < 0.05], decreased percent of actual sleep from 92.05% to 86.15% [t(10) = 3.51, P < 0.05], decreased sleep efficiency from 86.6% to 81% [t(10) = 2.204, P < 0.05] and increased number of wake bouts from 29 to 42.5 [t(10) = 3.877, P < 0.05]. Daytime sleepiness became significantly worse increasing from KSS 4.17 to 6.27 [t(10) = )4.96, P < 0.05].


There was no disparity in sleep quality or KSS scores between CPAP treated OSA patients and healthy controls of a similar age. Treated OSA patients obtained quality sleep with no elevated day time sleepiness. However, cessation of treatment for one night caused sleep quality to deteriorate despite a comparable sleep time; the deterioration in sleep quality could explain the increase in daytime sleepiness. OSA patients need to know that even short-term noncompliance with CPAP treatment significantly impairs sleep quality, leading to excessive sleepiness during monotonous tasks such as driving.

Actigraphy successfully identified nights of non-compliance in treated OSA patients; but did not differentiate between the sleep of CPAP treated OSA patients and healthy controls.

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ID Code: 66431
Item Type: Conference Item (Poster)
Refereed: No
Additional Information: At the time of this poster presentation Ashleigh Filtness was affiliated with the Sleep Research Centre at Loughborough University.
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Obstructive Sleep Apnoea, CPAP, sleep, actigraphy
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 2010 The Author(s)
Deposited On: 22 Jan 2014 00:25
Last Modified: 22 Jan 2014 00:25

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