Purpose: The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of a 2-month exercise training associated with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) treatment on the subjective and objective sleep measurements, quality of life, and mood in moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS) patients.
Methods: Male patients were randomized into two treatment groups: CPAP (n = 19) and CPAP + exercise (n = 13). All patients completed 1 month of sleep hygiene, 2 months of treatment (CPAP or CPAP + exercise), and 1 week of washout (no treatment). Fletcher and Luckett sleep questionnaire, Epworth sleepiness scale, sleep diaries, polysomnography, SF-36 inventory of quality of life, Profile of Mood States (POMS) questionnaire, neck circumference, and body composition were evaluated. CPAP + exercise group also underwent cardiopulmonary exercise test before and after treatment.
Results: Both treatments were effective in improving subjective sleepiness but CPAP + exercise treatment was more effective in maintaining this improvement after washout. No significant differences were found in most of the sleep parameters studied in both groups. CPAP + exercise group showed lower values of tension and fatigue on POMS and higher values of physical functioning, general health perception, and vitality on SF-36 after treatment.
Conclusions: A 2-month exercise training associated with CPAP treatment for OSAS patients has a positive impact on subjective daytime sleepiness, quality of life (physical functioning and general health perception), and mood state (tension and fatigue).