sleep duration, circadian, chronotype; midpoint; diet; fruits; vegetables; dairy; added sugar


Maternal and Child Health



Objective: Sleep disturbances during pregnancy are associated with gestational diabetes and excessive weight gain. Diet could potentially play a role in these relationships, yet examinations of sleep and diet in African American pregnant populations are scarce.

Methods: The study population includes pregnant African American women from Detroit, MI (n=53). At the baseline study visit during late pregnancy, women were surveyed about typical bed and wake times, as well as usual food intake via a dietary screener. Sleep measures examined included time in bed and sleep midpoint (median of going to bed and wake time). Composite dietary measures included estimated fruit and vegetable (FV), dairy, and added sugar intake. Linear regression models were used to evaluate associations between sleep and dietary measures, adjusting for potential confounders.

Results: On average, women with shorter time in bed (<8 hours compared to ≥8 hours) had one cup/day higher intake of fruits and vegetables (95% CI 0.10 to 1.83), driven by the individual items tomato sauce, salsa, and fruit juice. Delayed sleep timing (a midpoint>2:45 AM compared to midpoint≤2:45 AM) was associated with 0.78 cup/day lower fruit and vegetable intake (95% CI -1.67 to 0.12), mostly driven by whole fruit and vegetables (e.g. string beans, peas, corn rather than salad or cooked dried beans). Later midpoint was also associated with lower dairy intake (0.41 fewer servings/day; 95% CI -0.78 to -0.04), particularly milk. Shorter time in bed was associated with higher pastry intake, and delayed sleep timing was associated with lower pastry intake.

Conclusions: Sleep characteristics were uniquely associated with diet in pregnant women.