How can poor sleep affect coordination?

This question was asked in Lincoln Park, Michigan on 02/12/2014.
I have episodes during the day when my coordination is so low that I go from having nice handwriting to being unable to form a letter. This can last up to about 10 minutes at most. I have sleep apnea with a value of 14. I use a bi-pak machine nightly. I am 66 years of age. I am scared. A neurologist at the University of Michigan has referred me for a sleep study. I have at least 15 such studies with the same outcome only mild sleep apnea. What else could my problem be? Could sleep apnea or poor sleep really give me this condition? How could poor sleep cause this?

Doctors Answers (2)

Robert C. Jones, M.D.
Answered on: 2/13/2014

Poor sleep from sleep apnea will affect concentration, and thus inadvertent inattention could affect coordination. Mild sleep apnea rarely would need treatment with BiPAP. You could be over-treated with a BiPAP, and that would reduce sleep quality. You could be under-treated and have frequent respiratory effort-related arousals. 10% of patients properly treated and properly compliant will still be sleepy or have unrefreshing sleep, and may need stimulant medication. Evaluation by an accredited lab and a board certified sleep specialist is imperative to help you and the issues you have raised.

SomnoDiagnostics, Inc.
Answered on: 2/13/2014

Poor sleep can affect your coordination, clarity when thinking and productivity during the day. Making sure you are at the correct BiPAP pressure is important, and that your mask is fitting correctly and not leaking. However, please use good sleep hygiene nightly.