Food and Behaviour Research

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Changes in fruit and vegetable consumption in relation to changes in sleep characteristics over a 3-month period among young adults

Jansen E, She R, MargaretRukstalis M, Alexander G (2021) Sleep Health doi:10.1016/j.sleh.2021.02.005  

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To evaluate whether increases in fruit and vegetable (FV) consumption were associated with concomitant changes in insomnia symptoms, sleep duration, and quality.


Secondary longitudinal analysis of a randomized trial, baseline to 3 months.


Integrated health care systems in Detroit, Michigan and Danville, Pennsylvania.


About 1165 young adults who were low consumers of FV (


Online 3-arm program designed to increase FV consumption.


We categorized FV changes into 4 categories: no change or decrease, 1 serving increase, 2 serving increase, and 3 or more serving increase. We then compared the changes in chronic insomnia classification (yes or no), sleep duration, quality, and time to fall asleep (all self-reported) across the FV change categories. Analyses were both overall and stratified by gender, adjusting for potential confounders (depression, physical activity, education, children, and study site).


Average age ± SD was 26 ± 2.8 years (71% women). At 3-month follow-up, participants on average increased FV intake by 1.2 ± 1.4 servings. Women who increased FV intake by 3+ servings showed improvements in insomnia symptoms (2-fold higher odds of improvement; 95% CI 1.1 to 3.6), sleep quality (0.2-point higher sleep quality score; 95% CI -0.01, 0.3), and time to fall asleep (4.2 minutes; 95% CI -8, 0) compared to women who did not change or decreased their FV intake. Associations were not as apparent among men.


Young women with low consumption of FV may experience improvements in insomnia-related sleep difficulties by increasing their consumption of FV.