The impact of nutrition on sleep in people with an intellectual disability : an integrative literature review

Harper, Lynette, Ooms, Ann and Tuffrey-Wijne, Irene (2021) The impact of nutrition on sleep in people with an intellectual disability : an integrative literature review. Journal Of Applied Research In Intellectual Disabilities, ISSN (print) 1360-2322 (Epub Ahead of Print)

Abstract

Background: People with intellectual disabilities are more likely to experience sleep problems. Sleep can impact on health and well‐being; therefore, evidence‐based interventions are required to improve sleep in this population. Method: An integrative literature review was conducted on the impact of nutrition on sleep in people with intellectual disabilities. Following screening of papers (n = 289), 14 papers met the inclusion criteria. Results: Themes related to nutrition and improved overall well‐being, use of nutritional supplements, specific foods, links to health comorbidities and food fussiness. Conclusion: This is the first comprehensive review completed on nutritional interventions to improve sleep in people with intellectual disabilities. Dietary patterns may be an important factor to improving the quality and quantity of sleep. However, the current literature regarding the benefit of improved nutrition on sleep in people with an intellectual disability needs to be interpreted with caution.

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