The results show a mean decrease in ESS scores of 3.8 in all participants, with 3 patients showing a significant decrease in ESS scores of at least 7.
A team, led by Joseph Cheung, Mayo Clinic, assessed the effect of a 21-day whole-food, plant-based diet on daytime sleepiness in patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).
Diets that are high in saturated fats are often linked to a higher degree of daytime sleepiness.However, a whole food, plant-based diet that is low in saturated fat is known to be beneficial in weight loss and can be beneficial to other health conditions.
In addition, patients with OSA experience excessive daytime sleepiness even when being treated.
In the study, the investigators recruited patients from the Mayo Clinic Jacksonville sleep clinic who have been diagnosed with OSA who were being treated with PAP therapy, but also have daytime sleepiness, defined as an Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS) score of 5 or above.
Each participant was asked to follow a strict whole-food, plant-based diet for 21 days using the Fork Over Knives handbook as a guide and were asked to complete ESS prior to switching to and after completing a whole-food, plant-based diet for 21 days.
The study included 10 participants who completed the 21-day diet, 8 of which had reported a reduction in daytime sleepiness.
The results show a mean decrease in ESS scores of 3.8 in all participants, with 3 patients showing a significant decrease in ESS scores of at least 7. Every participant in the study had at least a 90% adherence to the whole-food, plant-based diet.
Participants also reported a mean weight loss of 4.2 kg and 2 participants reported headaches during the 21-day period.
“Significant improvement with daytime sleepiness was found in patients who switched to a WFPB diet for 21 days,” the authors wrote. “No significant correlation between improvement in ESS and weight loss was found.”
Last year, investigators found increased levels of physical activity could negate the negative effects associated with unhealthy sleep duration.2
An analysis leveraging 7-day accelerometer recordings from more than 90,000 individuals, results of the study provide evidence suggesting a higher volume of physical activity or recommended moderate-to-vigorous physical activity dampened the detriment effects of unhealthy sleep, regardless of whether individuals received too much or too little sleep.
When compared to their counterparts meeting MVPA guideline recommendations and with a normal sleep duration, results suggested those without recommended MVPA but having short (Hazard ratio [HR], 1.88 [95% confidence interval [CI], 1.61-2.20]) or long (HR, 1.69 [95% CI, 1.49-1.90]) sleep duration were at a greater risk for all-cause mortality. Further analysis demonstrated increased volume of physical activity or meeting MVPA guidelines mitigated the detrimental effects of short or long sleep duration on all-cause and cardiovascular mortality risks.
Joseph Cheung and others, 0590 Effect of a whole-food plant-based diet on daytime sleepiness in patients with obstructive sleep apnea, Sleep, Volume 46, Issue Supplement_1, May 2023, Page A259, https://doi.org/10.1093/sleep/zsad077.0590
Campbell, P. (2023, April 1). Exercise, increased physical activity can blunt the effects of poor sleep health. HCP Live. https://www.hcplive.com/view/exercise-increased-physical-activity-can-blunt-the-effects-of-poor-sleep-health