A Mediterranean Dietary Pattern Predicts Better Sleep Quality in US Women from the American Heart Association Go Red for Women Strategically Focused Research Network

Nutrients. 2020 Sep 16;12(9):2830. doi: 10.3390/nu12092830.


Consumption of a Mediterranean diet has been linked to better sleep health in older, European populations. However, whether this dietary pattern is predictive of sleep quality in US women, a group prone to poor sleep, is unknown. This prospective cohort study of 432 US women (20-76 y; 60% racial/ethnic minority) evaluated whether compliance with a Mediterranean diet at baseline predicted sleep quality at 1-y follow-up. Alternate Mediterranean (aMed) diet scores and habitual sleep quality were computed from the validated Block Brief Food Frequency Questionnaire and Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), respectively. Linear regression models evaluated prospective associations of the aMed diet pattern and its components with measures of sleep quality, after adjustment for age, BMI, race/ethnicity, education, and health insurance status. Higher baseline aMed scores were associated with lower PSQI scores (β = -0.30 ± 0.10, p < 0.01), indicative of better sleep quality, higher sleep efficiency (β = 1.20 ± 0.35, p < 0.001), and fewer sleep disturbances (β = -0.30 ± 0.12, p = 0.01) at 1-y. Fruit and vegetable consumption also predicted lower PSQI scores, higher sleep efficiency and fewer sleep disturbances (all p < 0.05). Higher legume intake predicted better sleep efficiency (β = 1.36 ± 0.55, p = 0.01). These findings suggest that adherence to a Mediterranean diet pattern should be evaluated as a strategy to promote sleep quality in US women.

Keywords: Mediterranean diet; alternate Mediterranean diet pattern; sleep disturbances; sleep efficiency; sleep quality; women’s health.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • American Heart Association
  • Cohort Studies
  • Diet, Mediterranean / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • New York City
  • Prospective Studies
  • Sleep
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / prevention & control*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States
  • Women's Health
  • Young Adult