1988 Volume 156 Issue Suppl Pages 143-149
In order to examine the effect of sleep position on sleep apnea episodes, seven male patients diagnosed as having obstructive sleep apnea syndrome without any organic complication of the upper aiway were studied while lying in a supine or lateral position during an all-night polysomnographic study. Apnea index, apnea time/total sleep time (%) and the number of episodes per hour in which oxyhemoglobin saturation dropped below 85% decreased significantly from 51.0±8.6 (mean±S.D.) events/hr, 40.4±5.8% and 36.2±9.8 episodes/hr during sleep in supine position to 27.6±9.1 events/hr, 19.4±6.0% and 12.9±5.3 episodes/hr during sleep in lateral position, respectively. Lowest oxyhemoglobin saturation increased significantly from 70.7±2.6% to 78.0±2.4%. Thus, sleep in the lateral position may be a simple treatment before essential treatment for patients with obstructive sleep apnea syndrome.