Quality of Life Research

, Volume 19, Issue 9, pp 1265–1272 | Cite as

Isolated sleep paralysis linked to impaired nocturnal sleep quality and health-related quality of life in Chinese-Taiwanese patients with obstructive sleep apnea

  • Sun-Wung Hsieh
  • Chiou-Lian Lai
  • Ching-Kuan Liu
  • Sheng-Hsing Lan
  • Chung-Yao Hsu



Isolated sleep paralysis (ISP) is a rapid eye movement (REM) sleep parasomnia and has a special meaning in Chinese population. Worsening of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) occurs especially during REM sleep. The relationship between ISP and OSA is unclear. The aim of this study was to investigate the impact of ISP on sleep and life quality in Chinese-Taiwanese OSA patients.


We recruited 107 OSA patients diagnosed by polysomnography (PSG) in Southern Taiwan. ISP was evaluated by self-reported sleep questionnaire. We used Chinese version of Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS), Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), and Short-Form 36 (SF36) to evaluate daytime sleepiness, nocturnal sleep quality, and health-related quality of life, respectively for OSA patients. Student’s t-test was used to compare PSG parameters, ESS, PSQI, physical and mental component of SF-36 (P-SF36 and M-SF36) between OSA patients with and without ISP. Stepwise multiple regression was used to find out the factors independently associated with ESS, PSQI, P-SF36, and M-SF36.


Forty-one of 107 patients (38.3%) had ISP. It showed no significant difference in PSG parameters between OSA patients with and without ISP. OSA patients with ISP had significantly higher ESS (P = 0.010), higher PSQI (P = 0.007), lower P-SF36 (P = 0.020), and lower M-SF36 (P = 0.001) than those without ISP. ISP was an independent factor associated with ESS (P = 0.017), PSQI (P = 0.001), and M-SF36 (P = 0.030) after adjusting for other confounding variables.


ISP was independently associated with excessive daytime sleepiness, worse sleep quality, and impaired mental health-related quality of life in Chinese-Taiwanese OSA patients.


Isolated sleep paralysis Obstructive sleep apnea Rapid eye movement sleep Daytime sleepiness Sleep quality Health-related quality of life 



Apnea-hypopnea index


Arousal index


Body mass index


Epworth Sleepiness Scale


Isolated sleep paralysis


Mental component of SF-36


Obstructive sleep apnea


Physical component of SF-36




Pittsburgh sleep quality index


Rapid eye movement


Short-form 36


Average pulse oxyhemoglobin saturation



The authors gratefully appreciated Miss Yen-Ju Chuang, Fu-Huei Tsai, and Huei-En Cheng in the sleep center of Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital for their kindly assistance in data collection.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sun-Wung Hsieh
    • 1
    • 2
  • Chiou-Lian Lai
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ching-Kuan Liu
    • 1
    • 2
  • Sheng-Hsing Lan
    • 1
  • Chung-Yao Hsu
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of NeurologyKaohsiung Medical University HospitalKaohsiungTaiwan
  2. 2.Department of Master’s Program in Neurology, Faculty of Medicine, College of MedicineKaohsiung Medical UniversityKaohsiungTaiwan

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