Publication Date

Fall 2021

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Nutrition, Food Science and Packaging


John Gieng

Subject Areas



The amount and composition of food that is consumed are known to contribute toinflammation and may affect how we feel in the following hours. The aim of this research was to determine if the inflammatory potential of a single meal is associated with level of postprandial sleepiness. Participants (n = 70) recorded intake of one of their meals, then reported their degree of postprandial sleepiness (Stanford Sleepiness Scale), average activity level, average hours of nightly sleep, and daytime sleepiness (Epworth Sleepiness Scale). The Dietary Inflammatory Index (DII) of the meal was estimated by adjusting DII parameters by 26%, reflecting the amount of daily intake from one meal. While no correlation between the meal inflammatory score and the postprandial sleepiness was observed, there was an inverse relationship between postprandial sleepiness and average hours of nightly sleep (⍴ = -0.410, P = 0.001) and average activity level (⍴ = -0.418, P < 0.001). Additionally, daytime sleepiness was inversely correlated with average activity level (⍴ = -0.346, P = 0.004). These findings suggest that lower levels of physical activity and nightly sleep may affect daytime and postprandial sleepiness in healthy adults.

Available for download on Friday, February 24, 2023