EEG arousal pattern in habitual snorers with and without obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA)

M. Zucconi, A. Oldani, L. Ferini-Strambi, G. Calori, C. Castronovo, S. Smirne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study evaluated the arousal pattern and sleep fragmentation in the sleep microstructure of heavy snorers and obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) patients. Fifteen snorers [Group A, (A + HI)≤10], 15 mild OSA (Group B, A + HI>10≤30] and 15 moderate to severe OSA (Group C, A + HI>30) were studied retrospectively analysing the number, duration and type of arousals according to scoring rules concerning definition (including delta bursts) and length (from 2 to 60 s) of phasic arousal events. The number of arousals per hour of sleep related to respiratory events was higher in Groups B and C, whilst in Group A there was a number of arousals not related to apnoea or hypopyon. Daytime sleepiness, present in all three groups and measured by a subjective evaluation, correlated with both the number and EEG type of arousal, but not with the duration. Statistical analysis indicated that arousal index related to apnoea or hypopyon was the best variable for determining the sleepiness risk in OSA and snorers. Sleep microstructure analysis seems a good scoring method for the detection of sleep fragmentation and arousals in relation to abnormal respiratory events.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)107-112
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Sleep Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1995


  • Arousals
  • EEG
  • OSA
  • Sleep
  • Sleepiness
  • Snoring

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Neuroscience(all)


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