Sleep quality affects exercise capacity

A recent study found that people who suffer from sleep apnea may be unable to burn as much oxygen during aerobic exercise as those without the condition.

A study led by the University of California San Diego assessed the aerobic fitness of 15 men and women with moderate to severe apnea. Nineteen people with mild or no apnea were used as a control group. The results showed that the study subjects with moderate to severe apnea had an average 14 per cent lower VO2 max than those in the control group.

Interestingly, lead study author Jeremy Beitler, assistant clinical professor in pulmonary and critical care medicine at UCSD, noted that the findings did not necessarily illustrate a link between obesity and sleep apnea, as study subjects with sleep apnea had reduced aerobic fitness even when compared with people of similar BMI.

‘We believe the sleep apnea itself causes structural changes in muscle that contributes to their difficulty exercising’ Beitler said.

Source: Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine