Work package 10: Prospective lifestyle study

Lead: Reykjavik University


What are we researching in WP 10: 


The sample will be formed by 200 clinical participants, aged 18-40. It is aimed to include 80 women and 120 men.  Inclusion criteria are a BMI ≥ 25, physical inactivity, and a diagnosis of mild sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) which does not fulfill criteria for positive airway pressure therapy. Therefore, SDB level may range from habitual snoring to positional and mild obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). 

This WP will allow to evaluate the effects of the proposed lifestyle program consisting of regular physical exercise (three times per week during 12 weeks), relaxation, and nutrition on the to quality of life-based on sleep parameters, mental health, and neurocognitive abilities. Moreover, the application of cognitive tests in sleep disorders is moved forward, as well as the development of digital versions. This is not only relevant to sleep research, but to the entire field of neurocognitive testing. 


Subjects will participate in a comprehensive battery of tests (pre and post intervention), which included assessments in the following domains: (i) general data; (ii) body composition, (iii) physical fitness, (iv) physiological parameters (v) Neurocognitive function, (vi)  sleep and (vii) mental health. 


The body composition test (ii): Measures will include the following body dimensions: height, weight, body mass index, waist-hip ratio, body fat mass (bioelectrical impedance analysis).

The instrumenstal used will be: Seca stadiometer (Medizinische Messsysteme und Waagen, Hamburg, Germany) and Body-stat 500 (Isle of Man, UK) 

The physical fitness test (iii): Grip strength with the dominant hand and a 6-minute walking test on a 30m indoor field. The instruments used will be: Vernier hand dynamometer (Vernier, Orlando, FL, USA) and stop watch. 


About the change in physiological parameters (iv) will be measured continuously via Withing smartwatch. 


And Neurocognitive tests will (v) be used to assess objectively participants’ daytime functioning. Studies have shown that sleep disorders affect the individual’s memory, attention, executive function and processing speed, and therefore can interfere with daily activities.

A particular neurocognitive test battery will be tested and set up for the clinical trial, allowing us to measure participants’ memory, working memory, attention, visuospatial abilities and processing speed among other things. The tests will be administered at the start of the clinical trial, at the end and during the intervention. This allows us to objectively assess to what extent of the sleep disorders have impacts participants daily life and to evaluate if the treatment (lifestyle intervention) is working.  


The expected outcome: 


A better understanding of how certain lifestyle factors can assist people with sleep disorders 


WP 10.1: Snoring explained:


The work focuses on improving understanding of the movement and the airflow in the upper airways for patients suffering from sleep disordered breathing; namely snoring, obstructive sleep apnea, and different forms of loud breathing. The work is divided into 2 phases. In the first phase, we collect data from patients who suffer from snoring, sleep apnea, and a control group of healthy people. This includes inviting participants into our apartment that is located in the dormitories of the RU, where we have our research equipment set up, and perform a sleep study and record speech samples. We use equipment that is commonly used in hospitals to diagnose these problems, but we also included several new pieces of an equipment that will give us a clearer picture of the movement inside the upper airways and the airflow. The set up takes us about 2.5 hours and the participant then then goes to bed and the data collection starts. In the morning, we wake up the participant, help them take off the equipment, and the data is put into our dataset. Finally, the sleep study is scored to discover if the participant recorded snore or apnea events and these finding are communicated back to the participant. This feature means the participant learns if they suffer from snoring or sleep apnea, and this information is the main compensation because the whole process is voluntary. We will collect data from 50 to 60 participants and our plan to be finished by the end of October 2021. The final steps of the phase one will be to clean the data, anonymize it, and make it ready for our future research in the second phase and for being released. The second phase will start in January of 2022 and we will analyse the collected data. The work combines knowledge from three fields: medicine to administer and annotate sleep studies, digital signal processing to manipulate the collected signals, and artificial intelligence to automatize manual tasks and to discover hidden information.



Reykjavik University

University Of Eastern Finland

Akershus Universitets-sykehus

Norsk E Helse As

University Of Queensland

Sidekickhealth Ehf

Ghent University