Correlates of Sleep Quality and Dietary Intake among Young Adults
Methods. Our team is comprised of a second-year doctoral student (principal investigator), a master’s student (co-investigator), and an assistant professor (faculty mentor). We recruited a convenience sample of 300 undergraduate students from a large southeastern university. We collected data in May 2015, after the call for abstracts in this section, making the results late-breaking. We used the Pittsburg Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) to measure sleep quality. The PSQI measures sleep quality during the past 30 days. We used a modified version of the School Physical Activity and Nutrition Project (SPAN) survey to measure dietary intake. The modified SPAN measures nutritional intake in the past 30 days. We grouped nutritional variables into protein, dairy, grains, vegetables, fruits, empty calories, and beverage intake categories. We classified these nutritional categories as either nutritious or non-nutritious. We calculated one-way analyses of variance (ANOVAs) tests to evaluate differences between the nutritional intake of good and poor quality sleepers. We set our hypotheses a priori at p < 0.05.
Results. We found 138 participants qualified as good quality sleepers while 132 participants qualified as poor quality sleepers. Concerning nutritional categories, we detected statistically significant differences between good and poor quality sleepers for consumption of non-nutritious grains such as sugar-sweetened cereals and French fries (F(1, 268)=7.539, p=0.006). Good sleepers ate less non-nutritious grains (M=10.57; SD=3.44) than poor sleepers (M=11.77; SD=3.73). We also detected significant differences between good and poor quality sleepers for consumption of nutritious vegetables such as carrots and green beans (F(1, 268)= 4.504, p=0.035). Good sleepers ate more nutritious vegetables (M=16.07; SD=4.78) than poor sleepers (M=14.86; SD=4.54). We further detected significant differences between good and poor quality sleepers for consumption of non-nutritious beverages such as regular soda and alcohol (F(1, 268)= 4.040, p=0.045). Good sleepers consumed less non-nutritious beverages (M=15.94; SD=5.02) than poor sleepers (M=17.26; SD=5.77). Finally, we detected significant differences between good and poor quality sleepers for consumption of empty calories such as ice cream and fast food (F(1, 267)= 6.445 p=0.012). Good sleepers consumed less empty calories (M=16.11; SD=4.51) than poor sleepers (M=17.66; SD=5.45). The remaining nutritional categories were similar between both good and poor sleepers (p<0.05).
Conclusions. Our study suggests differences exist between the diets of good and poor quality sleepers. Meeting healthy dietary guidelines may positively impact sleep quality of young adults. As we only examined cross-sectional differences between consumption patterns and sleep quality, we are unable to directly link nutritional patterns to sleep quality. Future studies should use longitudinal designs to investigate possible causal connections between sleep quality and nutrition.
Learning Areas:Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Social and behavioral sciences
Discuss the importance of adequate sleep for young adults. Describe the role of diet for impacting the sleep quality of young adults. Evaluate a nutritional intervention designed to improve sleep quality in young adults.
Keyword(s): Nutrition, College Students
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have conceptualized the study, developed the inclusion criteria, collected the data, and analyzed the data.
Any relevant financial relationships? No
I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.