Quick Navigation

Better sleep with the MIND diet

This cross-sectional study of 400 men found that the participants with higher adherence to the MIND diet were less likely to have insomnia, poor sleep, or daytime sleepiness.


The Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay (MIND) diet was designed to be neuroprotective. It incorporates elements of the Mediterranean diet and Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH). Although the MIND diet is primarily investigated for its role in reducing the risk of dementia, this study explored whether it also affected mental health and sleep quality.

The study

This cross-sectional study examined the association between adherence to the MIND diet and both sleep quality and aspects of mental health among 400 male participants (mean age of 39).

Dietary data were collected using a Food Frequency Questionnaire. Adherence to the MIND diet was based on point scores, with higher scores indicating higher adherence to the diet. The participants were given points for consuming “brain-healthy” foods (e.g., green leafy vegetables, fish, olive oil, and berries) and had points taken away for eating “brain-unhealthy” foods (e.g., red meat, butter, and fried foods). The participants were ranked as being in the lowest, middle, or highest third of adherence scores.

The study assessed outcomes on depression, anxiety, and stress (using the Depression Anxiety and Stress Scale 21), as well as sleep quality (using the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index), daytime sleepiness, and insomnia. Adjustments were made for age, body mass index, energy intake, smoking, physical activity, marital status, and education.

The results

Compared with participants with the lowest adherence, participants with the highest adherence to the MIND diet had lower odds of having poor sleep quality, insomnia, and daytime sleepiness.

There was no association between adherence to the MIND diet and stress, anxiety, or depression.

There are 10 more summaries in the Depression, Anxiety & Stress category for April 2022 including ...

  • Are dairy and calcium intake associated with better mental health?
  • ⏪ Rewind: A dietary intervention for improving depression
  • Exercise for depression in children and adolescents

Become an Examine Member to view the latest study summaries across 25 categories.