In the past decade, investigations of the relationship between sleep duration and eating behaviours have been emerging; however, a formal synthesis of the literature focussed on adolescent populations has not yet been conducted. We conducted a scoping review of the literature examining the relationship between sleep duration and eating behaviours in adolescents. Gaps in the research and directions for future research were identified based on the findings.
A systematic search was employed on four research databases: PubMed, PsycInfo, CINAHL and Scopus; relevant grey literature was also reviewed. Studies that reported on the relationship between sleep duration and eating behaviours among high school–aged adolescents were included in the review. Data were extracted, charted and synthesized into a narrative. Consistent with the purpose of a scoping review, the methodological quality of the studies was not appraised. Stakeholders were consulted to validate the findings and provide insight into the interpretation and identification of pressing gaps in the research that remain to be addressed.
In total, 61 studies published between 2006 and 2021 met the criteria for review. Existing research focussed heavily on examining sleep duration in relation to intake of food from certain food groups, beverages and processed foods, and relied on a population study design, cross-sectional analyses and self-report measures.
Future research is needed to understand the link between sleep duration and eating-related cognition, eating contexts and disordered eating behaviours in order to better understand how ensuring sufficient sleep among adolescents can be leveraged to support healthier eating practices and reduce diet-related risks.