Driving with Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea syndrome (commonly shorted as SAS) is characterized by the existence of recurrent respiratory pauses during sleep, lasting more than 10 seconds and with a minimum of 5-10 episodes per hour.
During those respiratory pauses there is a decrease in arterial oxygen saturation of more than 4% of baseline. Repeated episodes of obstructive sleep apnea cause people to wake up in order to breathe normally again. It also activates the sympathetic nervous system, which is related to the higher frequency of cardiovascular disease in these patients.