Food sufficiency status and sleep outcomes in older adults: the National Health and Aging Trends Study (NHATS)

Ashley C. Flores, Christopher Sarpong, Nan Dou, Muzi Na

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Studies investigating the relationship between food insecurity and sleep among older populations are limited. This study aimed to cross-sectionally examine the associations between food sufficiency status and sleep outcomes in a nationally representative sample of older adults. Methods: Our study included 1,665 older adults (≥ 65 years), using data from the 2013 and 2014 National Health and Aging Trends Study (NHATS). Food insufficiency was determined via participants’ experience and utilization of food assistance programs (FAP). Sleep outcomes, including nighttime and total sleep hours, sleep latency, and sleep quality, were derived from self-reported data. Multivariable linear regression and logistic regression models were used to estimate the associations between food sufficiency status and sleep outcomes. Results: In 2013–2014, 86.1% of older adults were classified as food sufficient without FAP, 9.85% as food sufficient with FAP, and 4.08% as food insufficient. Adjusting for sociodemographic characteristics, food sufficient older adults with FAP reported more total sleep hours (β = 0.31, 95% CI: -0.02, 0.64) than those participants who are food sufficient without FAP. Further adjusting for health factors, food sufficient participants with FAP had more nighttime sleep hours and greater total sleep hours compared to those participants food sufficient without FAP. Compared to those deemed as food sufficient without FAP, food sufficient participants with FAP had lower odds of having longer sleep latency (OR = 0.50, 95% CI: 0.28, 0.89), after further adjusting for physical function performance. Conclusions: Among older adults, food sufficiency with FAP is associated with greater total sleep hours, greater nighttime sleep hours, and lower odds of longer sleep latency. Our findings may help inform nutrition food assistance programs targeting older populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number25
JournalNutrition Journal
Volume23
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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