Yes, CPAP can Make You a Better Leader!

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a frequent and often under-diagnosed condition associated with upper airway collapse, oxygen drop, and sleep fragmentation leading to sleepiness, hypertension, increased risk of heart disease, and neuro-cognitive disturbance.

The gold standard treatment for OSA is continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP).

Over the years, I have seen patients with untreated sleep apnea, who are doing an excellent job at a high-pressure management position for years. I tell them that they can do even better if they get treated for sleep apnea. The treatment will also allow them to function for a longer period of time as this disease can increase their risk of stroke, heart attack, diabetes, and early death. Despite these arguments, I sometimes find it impossible to convince these executives to use CPAP regularly. 

Here, is a study that will perhaps make another argument in favor of using CPAP for better leadership function. 

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 the 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 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, a few of my compliant 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.