Researchers have found that eating a Mediterranean diet and exercising can improve some sleep apnea symptoms. The study published in European Respiratory Journal looked at the impact of the Mediterranean diet on obese sleep apnea patients as compared to patients on a prudent diet.
Obstructive sleep apnea is one of the most common sleep breathing disorders and becomes more prevalent as weight increases. Approximately 20-40% of obese patients suffer from obstructive sleep apnea and weight loss is an essential part of the treatment. Obstructive sleep apnea causes frequent stoppages of breathing during sleep. Sleep is fragmented causing excessive daytime drowsiness and other health complications.
Researchers in Greece studied 40 obese sleep apnea patients. 20 were placed on the Mediterranean diet and the other 20 were given a prudent weight-loss diet. Both groups were encouraged to walk at least 30 minutes each day. Both groups also received CPAP therapy.
The results showed that the group following the Mediterranean diet had a reduced number of apnoeas during REM stage sleep and were more likely to adhere to the lower calorie diet. While the study showed an improvement for this one stage of sleep it did not show an overall improvement in the severity of the condition. The authors feel that further studies with more patients are needed.
If you experience daytime sleepiness, weight gain and have been told you snore loudly you may suffer from obstructive sleep apnea. For more information about this disorder, diagnosis and treatment in the Columbus, OH area please contact StoneRidge Dental Care at 614-476-6696. Oral appliance therapy is a highly effective method of treating mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea.