The mean age of the 482 subjects was 56 years, 57% were female, and the mean body mass index was 30 kg/m2. After the researchers adjusted for gender and age, they found that greater WASO was statistically significantly associated with lower richness and alpha diversity (P less than .05). These associations remained significant on the Chao1 measure and borderline significant on the ACE and Shannon measures after further adjustment for BMI, physical activity, and dietary fiber and fat. For example, 60 minutes greater WASO was associated with an approximate 26% population standard deviation reduction in microbial richness as measured by Chao1. In fully-adjusted models, greater daytime sleepiness was associated with lower richness and diversity on all indices (P = .01-.06). The ESS and sleep duration were not associated with microbiota richness or diversity.
“Our results suggest that sleep quality is associated with gut microbiome richness and diversity,” Dr. Hagen said. “Our results are in line with other research on this topic. What’s interesting is how your sleep over a period of time is affecting these measures of your microbiome. That’s something people can do something about with [eating] habits over time. What would be great is to collect longitudinal data so that you could characterize sleep over a longer period of time, but also so you could measure the microbiome at different time points to see what’s changing with changes in sleep. That would be interesting to untangle.”
She acknowledged certain limitations of the study, including the small sample size and the cross-sectional design. The study was supported by the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health through the Wisconsin Partnership Program.
SOURCE: Hagen EW et al. .