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Timing and composition of last meal before bedtime affect sleep parameters of night workers


Night workers tend to eat irregularly, both in terms of meal times and composition. The disruption in energy metabolism caused by inappropriate eating habits can negatively affect the sleep quality of these individuals.


To determine the interval between last meal and bedtime and its relationship with both diurnal and nocturnal sleep parameters, as well as to evaluate the association of the adequacy of this meal with sleep parameters.


The analyses were carried out for a usual sleep routine on a workday and a day-off. This cross-sectional study was part of a controlled, randomized, double-blind, crossover clinical trial. The sample comprised 30 female nursing professionals who worked permanent night shifts of 12x36 h. Timing and composition of last meal were obtained from food diaries, and sleep parameters were collected via actigraphy.


On multiple linear regression analysis, every hour decrease in the interval between the last meal and sleep onset there was an increase of 0.39 h on diurnal sleep duration. Regarding food intake, every 1 g of fat and 1 g of carbohydrate consumed was associated with an increase in diurnal sleep onset latency of 0.13 h and 0.02 h, respectively.


These findings suggest that both timing and composition of the last meal before bedtime may be potential key factors for good diurnal and nocturnal sleep among night-shift workers.


Feeding Behavior; Nutrients; Sleep; Night-Shift Work; Nursing Personnel.


Área Clínica


Universidade Católica de Santos - São Paulo - Brasil


Luciana Fidalgo Ramos Nogueira, Pollyanna Pellegrino, José Cipolla-Neto, Cláudia Roberta de Castro Moreno, Elaine Cristina Marqueze