Sleep symptoms associated with intake of specific dietary nutrients
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.