Food insecurity and sleep quality among older adults: Findings from a population-based study in Ghana Journal Articles uri icon

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  • OBJECTIVE: Sleep architecture in older age is an important public health concern. However, little is known about the effect of food insecurity on sleep quality among older people. We provide the first representative study of the association between food insecurity and poor sleep quality (PSQ) in older adults in the sub-Saharan African context. METHODS: Data were drawn from the 2016-2017 AgeHeaPsyWel-HeaSeeB Study in Ghana. Past 30-day food insecurity was assessed with two items on the frequency of hunger and breakfast-skipping due to lack of food and resources. Participants reported night- and day-time sleep problems and sleep duration. Multiple OLS regressions were used to evaluate the hypothesized associations. RESULTS: Data on 1201 adults aged ≥ 50 years (mean = 63 [SD = 12]; women = 63%) were analyzed. In the full OLS adjusted model, moderate (β = .144; p < .001) and severe (β = .184; p < .001) levels of food insecurity were positively and significantly associated with PSQ. Also, older adults reporting moderate (β = -.153; p < .001) and severe (β = -.128; p < .001) food insecurity hadfewer sleep hours than those who were food-secure. Women and those aged ≥ 65 were at higher risks of PSQ in the context food insecurity. CONCLUSIONS: Addressing food insecurity may be an effective policy and public health intervention for improving sleep quality and overall well-being in older age.


  • Gyasi, Razak M
  • Asamoah, Edward
  • Gyasi-Boadu, Nelson
  • Zornu, Ophelia
  • Asiki, Gershim
  • Phillips, David

publication date

  • March 2022