Lewis Honors College Capstone Collection

Year of Publication



Agriculture, Food and Environment


Dietetics and Human Nutrition

Degree Name

B.S. in Human Nutrition

First Capstone/Thesis Advisor

Dr. Dawn Brewer

Second Capstone/Thesis Advisor

Dr. Alison Gustafson


Sleep-deprivation is thought to be a factor in the rising American obesity epidemic. Altered sleep cycles affect appetite-regulating hormone levels and enhance the hedonic effect of food consumption. As a result, sleep restriction has been associated with an increased daily energy intake of more than 500 calories and high-carbohydrate/high-fat consumption. However, past studies have not examined the relationship between sleep deprivation and decreased intake of nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables as a factor in increased energy consumption. This paper aims to 1) determine the affect average hours of sleep or acute sleep deprivation (defined as less than 6 hour sleep per night) has on consumption of nutritious foods, measured by examining average fruit and vegetable servings overall and on sleep-deprived days; and 2) examine the effect of average hours of sleep or acute deprivation on consumption of sweet and starchy foods, defined by servings per day of French fries, potato chips, and dessert foods, such as cookies or cake, both overall and on sleep deprived days.