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International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health

Editor-in-Chief: Merrick, Joav

Editorial Board: Birch, Diana ML / Blum, Robert W. / Greydanus, MD, Dr. HC (Athens), Donald E. / Hardoff, Daniel / Kerr, Mike / Levy, Howard B / Morad, Mohammed / Omar, Hatim A. / de Paul, Joaquin / Rydelius, Per-Anders / Shek, Daniel T.L. / Sher, Leo / Silber, Tomas J. / Towns, Susan / Urkin, Jacob / Verhofstadt-Deneve, Leni / Zeltzer, Lonnie / Tenenbaum, Ariel

CiteScore 2018: 0.79

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.350
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.476

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Volume 30, Issue 1


Cross-sectional analysis of food choice frequency, sleep confounding beverages, and psychological distress predictors of sleep quality

Adam P. Knowlden / Maranda Burns / Andy Harcrow / Meghan E. Shewmake
Published Online: 2016-03-16 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ijamh-2015-0120



Poor sleep quality is a significant public health problem. The role of nutrition in predicting sleep quality is a relatively unexplored area of inquiry. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the capacity of 10 food choice categories, sleep confounding beverages, and psychological distress to predict the sleep quality of college students.


A logistic regression model comprising 10 food choice variables (healthy proteins, unhealthy proteins, healthy dairy, unhealthy dairy, healthy grains, unhealthy grains, healthy fruits and vegetables, unhealthy empty calories, healthy beverages, unhealthy beverages), sleep confounding beverages (caffeinated/alcoholic beverages), as well as psychological distress (low, moderate, serious distress) was computed to determine the capacity of the variables to predict sleep quality (good/poor).


The odds of poor sleep quality were 32.4% lower for each unit of increased frequency of healthy proteins consumed (p<0.001; OR=0.676), 14.1% lower for each unit of increased frequency of healthy dairy food choices consumed (p=0.024; OR=0.859), 13.1% higher for each unit of increased frequency of empty calorie food choices consumed (p=0.003; OR=1.131), and 107.3% higher for those classified in the moderate psychological distress (p=0.016; OR=2.073).


Collectively, healthy proteins, healthy dairy, unhealthy empty calories, and moderate psychological distress were moderately predictive of sleep quality in the sample (Nagelkerke R2=23.8%). Results of the study suggested higher frequency of consumption of healthy protein and healthy dairy food choices reduced the odds of poor sleep quality, while higher consumption of empty calories and moderate psychological distress increased the odds of poor sleep quality.

Keywords: dietary intake; distress; nutrition; protein; sleep


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About the article

Corresponding author: Adam P. Knowlden, Department of Health Science, The University of Alabama, Russell Hall 457A, P.O. Box 870311, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0311, USA, Phone: +(205) 348-1625, Fax: +(205) 348-7568, E-mail:

Received: 2015-12-08

Accepted: 2016-01-14

Published Online: 2016-03-16

Conflicts of interest statement: The authors have no conflicts of interests to report. This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

Citation Information: International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health, Volume 30, Issue 1, 20150120, ISSN (Online) 2191-0278, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ijamh-2015-0120.

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