Effect of dietary nitrate supplementation on sleep in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease patients
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionNature and Science of Sleep. 2021, 13, 435-446. 10.2147/NSS.S279395
Purpose: Poor sleep quality in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a result of oxygen desaturation secondary to compromised lung function. Nitrate supplementation with dietary beetroot juice is known to elevate plasma nitrate and to increase the efficiency of oxygen utilization in non-COPD individuals; whether it is of therapeutic benefit for sleep quality in COPD has not been reported. Patients and Methods: In a counterbalanced within-subjects design involving 15 COPD patients as subjects, the subjects consumed either beetroot juice containing nitrate (BJ; ∼ 6.2 mmol NO 3–) or placebo (NO 3– -depleted juice) immediately before a night of polysomnographic monitoring. Nitrate was measured in plasma collected immediately after waking. Results: While BJ consumption had no effect on the amount of time spent in any sleep stages, wake-to-N2 transitions and direct wake-to-rapid eye movement sleep (REMS) transitions, hallmarks of disordered sleep, were less frequent on the BJ night than on the placebo night. In the last two hours of the BJ night, percent time in REMS increased and delta power during deep (N3) non-REMS decreased, relative to the placebo night. Collectively, the reduced frequency of atypical transitions and the normalization of non-REMS/REMS dynamics after BJ are indicative of an improvement of sleep quality. BJ also resulted in sustained elevation of peripheral oxygen saturation (SpO 2), during episodes of wake after sleep onset. Plasma nitrate was elevated nearly tenfold on the morning after BJ relative to placebo. Conclusion: BJ has a normalizing effect on disordered sleep in COPD, which may be related to improved oxygen delivery.