Skipping breakfast and mood: The role of sleep

Nutr Health. 2021 Dec;27(4):373-379. doi: 10.1177/0260106020984861. Epub 2021 Jan 11.


Background: Breakfast skipping has been related to poor mood, but the role of sleep in this relationship remains unclear.

Aim: To evaluate whether breakfast skipping associated with mood independently of sleep, and whether sleep interacted with breakfast skipping.

Methods: During an in-person research visit, a sample of 329 adults completed questionnaires regarding last night's sleep, current morning breakfast intake, and mid-morning mood states. Sex-stratified linear regression models examined associations between breakfast skipping and mood and interactions with sleep.

Results: Among males, those who did not consume breakfast had less vigor independent of sleep (β=-2.72 with 95% CI -4.91, -0.53). Among females, those who did not consume breakfast had higher feelings of anxiety (β=1.21 with 95% CI -0.04, 2.47). Interaction analyses revealed that males with longer time to fall asleep and longer night-time awake time had higher depression scores in the presence of breakfast skipping, and females with more night-time awake time and shorter duration had higher fatigue and less vigor if they were also breakfast skippers.

Conclusion: Breakfast skipping and poor sleep may jointly affect mood.

Keywords: Sleep quality; circadian; meal patterns; mental health.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Affect*
  • Breakfast*
  • Feeding Behavior*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Sleep*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Time Factors