Mediterranean diet may improve adolescent sleep quality, academic performance, study shows

A Spanish study published in the journal Acta Paediatrica shows that following a Mediterranean diet may improve adolescents’ sleep quality, which may in turn improve academic performance.

The study examined the association of adherence to a Mediterranean diet with academic performance and testing whether the association was mediated by sleep in Spanish adolescents.

Researchers recruited 269 adolescents, 52 percent males, with an average age of 13 years old, from 38 secondary schools and sport clubs in Castellon, Spain. Between February and May 2015, participants were assessed using the Mediterranean Diet Quality Index (KIDMED) questionnaire. Sleep quality was evaluated using the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index test and sleep duration was objectively computed using a wrist‚Äźworn accelerometer. Academic performance was assessed through final school grades and a validated test.

The study suggests that adherence to the Mediterranean diet could indirectly influence some academic performance variables through its effects on sleep quality, according to Diego Moliner-Urdiales, PhD, the study’s senior author.

The data show that the influence of adherence to the Mediterranean diet on academic performance was mediated by sleep quality in adolescents, according to Diego Moliner-Urdiales. Education and public health professionals should work together to achieve both improved health status and academic performance in adolescents.