Sleep Duration and Diet Quality Among Women Within 5 Years of Childbirth in the United States: A Cross-Sectional Study

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Quantitative Health Sciences; Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology; Department of Medicine, Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine; UMass Worcester Prevention Research Center

Publication Date


Document Type



Behavior and Behavior Mechanisms | Dietetics and Clinical Nutrition | Maternal and Child Health | Medical Nutrition | Obstetrics and Gynecology | Translational Medical Research | Women's Health


Objective: Only 9 % of women with young children consume a high quality diet. The association between sleep duration and health may be U-shaped. We examined diet quality in relation to sleep duration among US women within 5 years of childbirth.

Methods: Data were from non-pregnant women aged 20-44 years within 5 years of childbirth who completed two 24-h dietary recalls (N = 896) in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2005-2012. Self-reported weekday/workday sleep duration was categorized as short ( < /=6 h), adequate (7-8 h), or long ( > /=9 h). The Healthy Eating Index (HEI-2010, range 0-100) estimated overall and components of diet quality. Multivariable-adjusted linear regression models estimated the association between sleep duration and diet quality, adjusting for age, race/ethnicity, and education.

Results: Thirty-four percent of women reported short, 57.1 % adequate, and 8.6 % long sleep duration. The average diet quality total score was 47.4 out of 100. Short sleep duration was not associated with diet quality. Long sleep duration was associated with lower quality diet (beta = -4.3; 95 % CI -8.1 to -0.4), lower consumption of total fruit (beta = -0.7; 95 % CI -1.3 to -0.1), whole fruit (beta = -0.9; 95 % CI -1.6 to -0.2), and total protein (beta = -0.7; 95 % CI -1.3 to -0.03), and higher consumption of empty calories (beta = 2.2; 95 % CI -4.3 to -0.1).

Conclusions: for practice Future studies should examine the longitudinal association between sleep duration and diet quality among women following childbirth and whether interventions to improve sleep can enhance diet quality.


UMCCTS funding

DOI of Published Version



Matern Child Health J. 2016 Apr 18. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Maternal and child health journal

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID