Poor sleep quality is associated with obesity and depression in farmers

Natalie Jo Hawes, Amanda T. Wiggins, Deborah B. Reed, Frances Hardin-Fanning

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Background: Farmers’ work schedules can result in inconsistent sleep patterns which negatively impact health. Purpose: To explore the relationships between sleep, obesity, and depression in working, older farmers and their spouses. Covariates included body mass index (BMI), age, and gender. Methods: Sleep quality, BMI, and depression were assessed in farmers (n = 1,394) 50 years and older. Bivariate associations among all covariates (i.e., age, gender, BMI, sleep) and dependent variable (i.e., depression) were analyzed using Pearson's correlation. Multivariable associations of the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CESD). BMI with other study variables were assessed using linear regression. Results: BMI was positively associated with sleep apnea symptoms (p ≤ 0.0001) and CESD scores (p = 0.0006). Participants with difficulty falling asleep were more likely to have poor sleep quality (p ≤ 0.0001) and higher CESD scores (p ≤ 0.0001). Poor sleep quality was associated with higher CESD scores (p ≤ 0.0001). Increased age, female gender, higher BMI, sleep apnea symptoms, and poorer sleep quality were all predictive of higher depressive symptoms. Discussion: Farmers have unique lifestyles that increase the risk of poor sleep. Screening for sleep pattern disruption and understanding its impact could result in lower rates of depression and obesity in this group of high-risk individuals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)270-275
Number of pages6
JournalPublic Health Nursing
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


  • body mass index (BMI)
  • depression
  • farmworkers
  • health promotion
  • interventions
  • sleep

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing (all)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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