Association between gardening and multiple sleep complaints: A nationwide study of 62,098 adults

Kaiyue Wang, Yaqi Li, Muzi Na, Chen Wang, Djibril M. Ba, Liang Sun, Xiang Gao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Physical activity was suggested to be related to sleep health, while the gardening-sleep association among the community population remained unrevealed. Therefore, this study aimed to explore whether gardening was associated with sleep complaints. Methods: A total of 62,098 adults from the 2017 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) were included in this study and further categorized as non-exercisers, gardeners, and other exercisers, based on their self-reported exercise status. Sleep complaints including short/prolonged sleep duration, probable insomnia, daytime sleepiness, and sleep apnea were surveyed via a questionnaire. Primary outcome was multiple sleep complaints (coexistence of ≥2 sleep complaints) and secondary outcomes referred to individual sleep complaints. The adjusted odds ratios (ORs) and 95 % confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated to assess the associations between gardening or tertiles of gardening duration and the outcomes using multivariable logistic regression models. Results: The sample included 16,707 non-exercisers, 4243 gardeners, and 41,148 other exercisers. Relative to non-exercisers, gardeners (OR 0.58, 95%CI 0.49–0.67) and other exercisers (OR 0.67, 95%CI 0.61–0.72) had a lower likelihood of experiencing multiple sleep complaints. The adjusted OR comparing the highest gardening duration tertile to non-exercise was 0.45 (95%CI 0.33–0.63) for multiple sleep complaints (P for trend <0.001). Similar patterns persisted in several individual sleep complaints, such as short sleep duration, probable insomnia, daytime sleepiness, and sleep apnea. Limitations: Cross-sectional study design and use of self-reported variables. Conclusions: This nationwide study observed an inverse association of gardening with multiple sleep complaints and several individual sleep complaints, in a dose-response manner.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)131-135
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
StatePublished - Jun 15 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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