Effect of tele-yoga on aerobic capacity, respiratory muscle strength, and cognitive performance in patients with obstructive sleep apnea syndrome

Heart Lung. 2023 Nov-Dec:62:157-167. doi: 10.1016/j.hrtlng.2023.07.005. Epub 2023 Aug 1.


Background: Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS) causes a decrease in aerobic capacity, respiratory muscle strength, and cognitive function, negatively affecting health-related quality of life.

Objectives: This study aimed to compare aerobic capacity, respiratory muscle strength, cognitive performance, functional capacity, sleep quality and daytime sleepiness in OSAS patients practicing and not practicing tele-yoga (TY).

Methods: 44 OSAS patients (40 M, 4F) were randomized into TY and control groups. TY group underwent live synchronous group-based TY sessions, 60 min/day, three days/week, for 12 weeks. Control group performed unsupervised thoracic expansion exercises at home 4 times daily for 12 weeks. The following were evaluated at baseline and at the end of the 6th and 12th weeks: inspiratory and expiratory respiratory muscle strength (MIP, MEP), cardiopulmonary exercise test, Corsi Block Tapping Test (CBTT) and Stroop TBAG test, six-minute walk test (6MWT), Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) and Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS).

Results: TY significantly improved MIP, and exercise test parameters (VE, HRmax,%HR, heart rate recovery in the first minute and RQmax), CBTT (forward) and Stroop TBAG test scores (parts of 3,4,5) compared to the controls (p<0.05). There were no significant changes 6MWT in the TY group compared to the control group (p > 0.05). Sleep duration (min), sleep efficiency, sleep quality of PSQI and ESS score improved significantly in the TY group compared to the control group (p < 0.05).

Conclusion: We suggest including TY intervention as a method of exercise in addition to CPAP treatments since it improves the health-related parameters of OSAS patients.

Keywords: Aerobic capacity; Neurocognitive performance; Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS); Respiratory muscle strength; Yoga.