Examination of sleep in relation to dietary and lifestyle behaviors during Ramadan: A multi-national study using structural equation modeling among 24,500 adults amid COVID-19

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Khan M. A. B., BaHammam A. S., Amanatullah A., Obaideen K., Arora T., Ali H., ...More

Frontiers in Nutrition, vol.10, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 10
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.3389/fnut.2023.1040355
  • Journal Name: Frontiers in Nutrition
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Directory of Open Access Journals
  • Keywords: sleep, diet, lifestyle and behavior, fasting, intermittent fasting, Ramadan
  • Kütahya Health Sciences University Affiliated: No


Background: Of around 2 billion Muslims worldwide, approximately 1.5 billion observe Ramadan fasting (RF) month. Those that observe RF have diverse cultural, ethnic, social, and economic backgrounds and are distributed over a wide geographical area. Sleep is known to be significantly altered during the month of Ramadan, which has a profound impact on human health. Moreover, sleep is closely connected to dietary and lifestyle behaviors. Methods: This cross-sectional study collected data using a structured, self-administered electronic questionnaire that was translated into 13 languages and disseminated to Muslim populations across 27 countries. The questionnaire assessed dietary and lifestyle factors as independent variables, and three sleep parameters (quality, duration, and disturbance) as dependent variables. We performed structural equation modeling (SEM) to examine how dietary and lifestyle factors affected these sleep parameters. Results: In total, 24,541 adults were enrolled in this study. SEM analysis revealed that during RF, optimum sleep duration (7–9 h) was significantly associated with sufficient physical activity (PA) and consuming plant-based proteins. In addition, smoking was significantly associated with greater sleep disturbance and lower sleep quality. Participants that consumed vegetables, fruits, dates, and plant-based proteins reported better sleep quality. Infrequent consumption of delivered food and infrequent screen time were also associated with better sleep quality. Conflicting results were found regarding the impact of dining at home versus dining out on the three sleep parameters. Conclusion: Increasing the intake of fruits, vegetables, and plant-based proteins are important factors that could help improve healthy sleep for those observing RF. In addition, regular PA and avoiding smoking may contribute to improving sleep during RF.