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Sleep Breath. 2014 Mar;18(1):53-8. doi: 10.1007/s11325-013-0847-y. Epub 2013 Apr 24.

A fatty meal aggravates apnea and increases sleep in patients with obstructive sleep apnea.

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  • 1Department of Clinical Therapeutics, Division of Pneumonology, Medical School, National University of Athens, Athens, Greece.



The purpose of this study was to investigate the role of a fatty meal before bedtime, on sleep characteristics and blood pressure in patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).


Recently diagnosed, by full polysomnography (PSG), patients with OSA (n=19) were included. These underwent PSG for additional two consecutive nights. Two hours before the PSG examination, a ham and cheese sandwich of 360 kcal was served to all patients, at first night, while a fatty meal of 1,800 kcal was served before the second PSG examination. Comparisons were performed between the last two examinations in terms of PSG data and morning and night blood pressure measurements.


After the fatty meal, a significant increase was observed in total sleep time (p=0.026) in the Apnea-Hypopnea Index (AHI) (p=0.015), as well as in the absolute number of obstructive and central apneas (p=0.032 and p=0.042, respectively) compared to the previous night. Conversely, distribution of sleep stages and indices of nocturnal hypoxia (average and minimum SpO2 and sleep time with SpO2<90 %) did not change significantly. Likewise, no significant change was observed in blood pressure measurements.


Fatty meal intake before sleep can increase AHI in OSA patients, although it does not affect sleep architecture or indices of hypoxia.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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