Sleep symptoms are associated with weight gain and cardiometabolic disease. The potential role of diet has been largely unexplored. Data from the 2007-2008 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) were used (n = 4552) to determine which nutrients were associated with sleep symptoms in a nationally representative sample. Survey items assessed difficulty falling asleep, sleep maintenance difficulties, non-restorative sleep and daytime sleepiness. Analyses were adjusted for energy intake, other dietary factors, exercise, body mass index (BMI) and sociodemographics. Population-weighted, logistic regression, with backwards-stepwise selection, examined which nutrients were associated with sleep symptoms. Odds ratios (ORs) reflect the difference in odds of sleep symptoms associated with a doubling in nutrient. Nutrients that were associated independently with difficulty falling asleep included (in order): alpha-carotene (OR = 0.96), selenium (OR = 0.80), dodecanoic acid (OR = 0.91), calcium (OR = 0.83) and hexadecanoic acid (OR = 1.10). Nutrients that were associated independently with sleep maintenance difficulties included: salt (OR = 1.19), butanoic acid (0.81), carbohydrate (OR = 0.71), dodecanoic acid (OR = 0.90), vitamin D (OR = 0.84), lycopene (OR = 0.98), hexanoic acid (OR = 1.25) and moisture (OR = 1.27). Nutrients that were associated independently with non-restorative sleep included butanoic acid (OR = 1.09), calcium (OR = 0.81), vitamin C (OR = 0.92), water (OR = 0.98), moisture (OR = 1.41) and cholesterol (OR = 1.10). Nutrients that were associated independently with sleepiness included: moisture (OR = 1.20), theobromine (OR = 1.04), potassium (OR = 0.70) and water (OR = 0.97). These results suggest novel associations between sleep symptoms and diet/metabolism, potentially explaining associations between sleep and cardiometabolic diseases.
Keywords: diet; epidemiology; insomnia; nutrition; sleep.
© 2013 European Sleep Research Society.