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VOLUME 34, ISSUE 12

EFFECTS OF EXERCISE TRAINING ON OSA AND SLEEP QUALITY
The Effect of Exercise Training on Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Sleep Quality: A Randomized Controlled Trial

http://dx.doi.org/10.5665/sleep.1422

Christopher E. Kline, PhD1,2,3; E. Patrick Crowley, MS2; Gary B. Ewing, MD4; James B. Burch, PhD3,5; Steven N. Blair, PED2,5; J. Larry Durstine, PhD2; J. Mark Davis, PhD2; Shawn D. Youngstedt, PhD2,3

1Department of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA; 2Department of Exercise Science, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC; 3WJB Dorn VA Medical Center, Columbia, SC; 4Department of Clinical Services, School of Medicine, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC; 5Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC



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Study Objectives:

To evaluate the efficacy of a 12-week exercise training program for reducing obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) severity and improving sleep quality, and to explore possible mechanisms by which exercise may reduce OSA severity.

Design:

Randomized controlled trial.

Setting:

Clinical exercise physiology center, sleep laboratory.

Participants:

Forty-three sedentary and overweight/obese adults aged 18-55 years with at least moderate-severity untreated OSA (screening apnea-hypopnea index [AHI] ≥ 15).

Interventions:

Participants randomized to exercise training (n = 27) met 4 times/week for 12 weeks and performed 150 min/week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity, followed by resistance training twice/week. Participants randomized to a stretching control (n = 16) met twice weekly for 12 weeks to perform low-intensity exercises designed to increase whole-body flexibility.

Measurements and Results:

OSA severity was assessed with one night of laboratory polysomnography (PSG) before and following the 12-week intervention. Measures of sleep quality included PSG, actigraphy (7-10 days), and the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index. Compared with stretching, exercise resulted in a significant AHI reduction (exercise: 32.2 ± 5.6 to 24.6 ± 4.4, stretching: 24.4 ± 5.6 to 28.9 ± 6.4; P < 0.01) as well as significant changes in oxygen desaturation index (ODI; P = 0.03) and stage N3 sleep (P = 0.03). Reductions in AHI and ODI were achieved without a significant decrease in body weight. Improvements in actigraphic sleep and subjective sleep quality were also noted following exercise compared with stretching.

Conclusions:

Exercise training had moderate treatment efficacy for the reduction of AHI in sedentary overweight/obese adults, which suggests that exercise may be beneficial for the management of OSA beyond simply facilitating weight loss.

Trial Registration:

Clinicaltrials.gov identification number NCT00956423.

Citation:

Kline CE; Crowley EP; Ewing GB; Burch JB; Blair SN; Durstine JL; Davis JM; Youngstedt SD. The effect of exercise training on obstructive sleep apnea and sleep quality:a randomized controlled trial. SLEEP 2011;34(12):1631-1640.

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