Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) affects up to 20% of men in western cultures, 5% of whom experience significant physical symptoms. A study published in Journal of Forensic Sciences finds that sex offenders who suffer from OSA experience more harmful psychological symptoms than do sex offenders with normal sleep patterns.
Sex offenders with known OSA were administered a treatment using continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), whereby compressed air is applied into the nose and/or mouth through a respiratory mask while the subject sleeps. The subjects were given criteria and asked to score themselves based on personal anger, verbal aggression, hostility and physical aggression before and after treatment.
The subjects scored themselves significantly lower (better) post-CPAP treatment, but it is unclear whether this treatment will lead to observational changes in behavior.
“The current study shows a potentially important relationship between sleep and aggression, and supports the need for further investigation of sleep disorders and disordered sexual behavior,” says Dr. J. Paul Fedoroff, lead author of the study.
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