Driving Ability of Sleep Apnea Patients Worse with Alcohol Use

Driving skills in people with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) are more severely affected by alcohol use and sleep deprivation than age-matched controls. Australian investigators found both sleep restriction (4 hrs. max in last 24 hrs.) or a moderate blood alcohol level (0.05 g/dL, which is lower than the legal driving limit in the U.S.) caused worse steering deviations from the median lane and greater deterioration of steering control during the 90 minute simulated drive than controls. OSA participants were 20-32% more likely to have at least one crash also.

PositiveTip: Avoid sleep restriction or alcohol use to be a safe driver–even if you don’t have OSA.