Sleep and Breathing

, Volume 23, Issue 1, pp 49–56 | Cite as

The effect of temazepam on assessment of severity of obstructive sleep apnea by polysomnography

  • Jennifer H. WalshEmail author
  • Carolyn Visser
  • Kathleen Maddison
  • Chrianna Bharat
  • David R. Hillman
  • Peter R. Eastwood
Sleep Breathing Physiology and Disorders • Original Article



To determine the effect of temazepam on assessment of the severity of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) by polysomnography (PSG).


Analysis of diagnostic laboratory-PSG studies was performed in OSA patients who were administered temazepam (10 mg) to facilitate sleep (“temazepam group”, n = 73) and in OSA patients (matched for age, gender, body mass index and study date) in whom temazepam was not administered (“control group”, n = 73). Sleep- and respiratory-related variables were compared between the groups for the (i) first 3 h of study following temazepam in the temazepam group (when peak blood concentration is expected) or following lights out in the control group, and (ii) entire study duration.


Within the first 3 h, no differences in sleep-related variables were observed between the groups. Over the entire study duration, the temazepam group had a reduced total sleep time compared to the control group, likely due to the overnight sleep difficulties that led to its use. Whether measured during the first 3 h of study or over the entire study duration, no significant differences were detected between the groups for any respiratory-related variable, including apnea hypopnea index, arousal index, oxygen desaturation, apnea index, hypopnea index, and event duration. When patients were considered in terms of OSA severity, decreased arousal index was noted in the temazepam group over the entire study duration, but only in those with severe OSA.


Oral administration of 10 mg of temazepam during the course of PSG does not systematically affect assessment of the severity of OSA by PSG.


Respiratory sleep disorder Benzodiazepine AHI Airway obstruction Sedatives Airway collapsibility 


Financial Support

This study was supported by a National Health and Medical Research Council project grant (No. 572647) and Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital Research Advisory Committee grant (2016-043). PRE was supported by a National Health and Medical Research Council Senior Research Fellowship (No 513704). CV received a Dr. Margaret Loman-Hall Honours Scholarship.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All patients had provided written consent to have information obtained in association with their PSG study used for research purposes but formal consent by the patients for this particular study was not required. The study was approved by the Human Research Ethics Committee at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital (Ref 2011-027) and was performed in accordance with the ethical standards of the institution and the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki and its later amendments.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jennifer H. Walsh
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Carolyn Visser
    • 1
  • Kathleen Maddison
    • 1
    • 2
  • Chrianna Bharat
    • 3
    • 4
  • David R. Hillman
    • 1
    • 2
  • Peter R. Eastwood
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Centre for Sleep Science, School of Human SciencesThe University of Western AustraliaCrawleyAustralia
  2. 2.Department of Pulmonary Physiology & Sleep Medicine, Sir Charles Gairdner HospitalWest Australian Sleep Disorders Research InstituteNedlandsAustralia
  3. 3.Centre for Applied StatisticsThe University of Western AustraliaCrawleyAustralia
  4. 4.National Drug and Alcohol Research CentreUniversity of New South WalesSydneyAustralia

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