Sleep Apnea Patients Need to Avoid Even Small Amounts of Alcohol for Safety

Investigators in Austrailia have compared the impact of small amounts of alcohol and sleep deprivation on the simulated driving skills of those with untreated obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and controls. Subjects with OSA were 21% more likely to have crashes after a small amount of alcohol (BAC 0.05 g/dL) and 32% more likely following sleep deprivation (4 hrs sleep on one night). The controls only had one crash. Even less than a legal dose of alcohol can be deadly. (Legal limits vary from 0.015 g/dL in Japan to 0.08 g/dL in the US.)

PositiveTip: Avoid alcohol and sleep restriction before driving or performing tasks in which safety is a factor.