Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a frequent and often underdiagnosed condition associated with upper airway collapse, oxygen desaturation, and sleep fragmentation leading to sleepiness, hypertension, increased risk of heart disease, and neurocognitive disturbance.
Untreated OSA is associated with increased healthcare utilization, occupational injuries, motor vehicle accidents, and neurocognitive sequelae in memory, attention, and executive function. The gold standard treatment for OSA is continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP).
Michelle Olaithe, BA (Hons) and Romola S. Bucks, Ph. D. (School of Psychology, the University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia) published, in the Journal Sleep, their meta-analysis of 35 studies looking at executive function in OSA before and after treatment with CPAP.
The result indicated that the executive function is impaired in OSA compared to control participants across all five subcomponents.
People with OSA have difficulty Shifting between tasks or mental sets, Updating and monitoring working memory representations, Inhibiting dominant or prepotent responses, they struggle with Generating new information without external input or efficiently accessing long term memory, and they have significant problems with Fluid Reasoning or problem solving.
All 5 domains of executive function showed medium to very large impairments in OSA independent of age and disease severity. Furthermore, all subdomains of executive function demonstrated small to medium improvements with CPAP treatment.
In summary, CPAP treatment of OSA can make you a much better leader. Indeed, my patients have over the years shared with me; “I am thinking more clearly. My big picture skills have improved. I am more innovative, collaborative, and enthusiastic than ever before. I should have done this long time ago.”
So, If you snore, please talk to us or your doctor about a convenient, quick, and economical home sleep test.
Sleep Well, Lead Well.