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Review

A Systematic Review, Meta-Analysis and Meta-Regression on the Effects of Carbohydrates on Sleep

1
Department of Life and Health Sciences, University of Nicosia, 46 Makedonitisas Avenue, Nicosia CY1700, Cyprus
2
Department of PE and Sport Science, University of Thessaly, 42100 Trikala, Greece
3
School of Sports and Health Sciences, Cardiff Metropolitan University, Llandaff Campus, Western Avenue, Cardiff CF5 2YB, Wales, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Nicola McKeown
Nutrients 2021, 13(4), 1283; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13041283
Received: 7 March 2021 / Revised: 10 April 2021 / Accepted: 12 April 2021 / Published: 14 April 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary Carbohydrate and Human Health)
This study aimed to assess the effects of quantity, quality and periodization of carbohydrates consumption on sleep. PubMed, SCOPUS and Cochrane Library were searched through October 2020. Data were pooled using random-effects meta-analysis. Eleven articles were included in the meta-analysis which consisted of 27 separate nutrition trials, resulting in 16 comparison data sets (sleep quantity n = 11; sleep quality n = 5). Compared to high carbohydrate (HCI), low carbohydrate intake (LCI) moderately increased duration and proportion of N3 sleep stage (ES = 0.37; 95% CI = 0.18, 0.56; p < 0.001 and ES = 0.51; 95% CI = 0.33, 0.69; p < 0.001, respectively). HCI prolonged rapid eye movement (REM) stage duration (ES = −0.38; 95% CI = 0.05, −8.05; p < 0.001) and proportion (ES = −0.46; 95% CI = −0.83, −0.01; p < 0.001), compared to LCI. The quality of carbohydrate intake did not affect sleep stages. Meta-regression showed that the effectiveness of carbohydrate quantity and quality in sleep onset latency was significantly explained by alterations of carbohydrate intake as a percentage of daily energy intake (R2 = 25.87, p = 0.018) and alterations in the glycemic load (R2 = 50.8, p = 0.048), respectively. Alterations in glycemic load partially explained the variance of the effectiveness of carbohydrate quality in sleep efficiency (R2 = 89.2, p < 0.001) and wake after sleep onset (R2 = 64.9, p = 0.018). Carbohydrate quantity was shown to affect sleep architecture, and especially N3 and REM sleep stages. Alterations in both quantity and quality of carbohydrate intake showed a significant effect on sleep initiation. Variations in carbohydrate quality significantly affected measures of sleep continuation. Further studies are needed to assess the effect of long-term carbohydrate interventions on sleep. View Full-Text
Keywords: glycemic index; glycemic load; nutrition; sleep; polysomnography; actigraphy glycemic index; glycemic load; nutrition; sleep; polysomnography; actigraphy
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MDPI and ACS Style

Vlahoyiannis, A.; Giannaki, C.D.; Sakkas, G.K.; Aphamis, G.; Andreou, E. A Systematic Review, Meta-Analysis and Meta-Regression on the Effects of Carbohydrates on Sleep. Nutrients 2021, 13, 1283. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13041283

AMA Style

Vlahoyiannis A, Giannaki CD, Sakkas GK, Aphamis G, Andreou E. A Systematic Review, Meta-Analysis and Meta-Regression on the Effects of Carbohydrates on Sleep. Nutrients. 2021; 13(4):1283. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13041283

Chicago/Turabian Style

Vlahoyiannis, Angelos, Christoforos D. Giannaki, Giorgos K. Sakkas, George Aphamis, and Eleni Andreou. 2021. "A Systematic Review, Meta-Analysis and Meta-Regression on the Effects of Carbohydrates on Sleep" Nutrients 13, no. 4: 1283. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13041283

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