Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) Score and Its Association with Sleep Quality in a National Survey of Middle-Aged and Older Men and Women

Nutrients. 2020 May 22;12(5):1510. doi: 10.3390/nu12051510.


: Complex processes appear to link sleep duration and quality with dietary patterns. Numerous studies show healthful benefits of the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet, but few have examined its association with sleep duration or quality. The current study tested cross-sectional associations of DASH diet quality score with sleep quality among adults. Analyses of participants were from the 2005-2008 wave of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (n = 3941 adults ≥ 30 years of age, complete data). We performed sex- and age group-stratified multiple OLS regression analyses with DASH total score and components as main predictors and sleep quality as main outcomes, adjusting sequentially for socio-demographic, behavioral and health-related factors. Sex and age differences in associations of DASH with sleep quality, adjusting for covariates, were also examined by incorporating two-way interaction terms between sex/age and the DASH score in each unstratified model. We found that the DASH diet score was inversely related to poor sleep-related daytime dysfunction adjusted by age, sex, demographic and socio-economic factors. Some sex-specific associations were detected between DASH diet component scores and sleep quality. Notably, the potassium DASH component was inversely associated with Factor 1 ("sleepiness and sleep disturbance") among women. The fiber DASH component was associated with better sleep quality and inversely related to Factor 2 ("sleep-related daytime dysfunction") in younger subjects. This study indicates health benefits of the DASH diet for sleep duration and quality. Future longitudinal studies and randomized placebo-controlled trials are required to ascertain protective effects.

Keywords: adults; national surveys; sleep quality; the DASH diet.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Blood Pressure
  • Child
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diet
  • Dietary Approaches To Stop Hypertension / methods*
  • Dietary Fiber
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / therapy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nutrition Surveys
  • Sex Factors
  • Sleep*
  • Young Adult


  • Dietary Fiber