Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

Degree Level



Biological Sciences


Baum, Jamie

Committee Member/Reader

Lessner, Daniel

Committee Member/Second Reader

Beaulieu, Jeremy

Committee Member/Third Reader

Clay, Matt


The older population of the United States is in a period of rapid growth [1]. population of those in the United States aged 65 or older will double to about 72 million in the next 25 year [1]. This population is at increased risk for obesity, chronic diseases, decreased quality of life, and premature death. Therefore, guidelines for healthy aging are desperately needed. In 2015 alone, 67.7% of adults in the United States aged 65 or older reported having two or more chronic conditions [2]. Treatment for those in the older population afflicted by multiple chronic conditions alone accounts for 66% of the United States’ total health care budget [1]. In 2018, for the third year in a row, Arkansas was one of nine states with an adult obesity rate at or above 35 percent [3]. The obesity prevalence in Arkansans 65 years of age and older was reported to be 30.1% for 2018 and is projected to continue with an increasingly upward trajectory. In the United States, Arkansas was identified as having the 4th highest-ranked state with regard to overweight and obesity percentiles for adults. Arkansas was also identified as the 4th highest-ranked state for number of adults diagnosed with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Additionally, in Arkansas alone 23.4% of adults aged 65 years of age or older were currently diagnosed with T2DM in 2015, with an expected increase in this percentage [2]. Poor sleep has been identified as one potential cause for this dramatic decline in health [4]. Sleep disorders are highly prevalent in older adults with 50% or more older adults being currently diagnosed with a clinical sleeping disorder [5]. A lack of sleep schedule regularity in addition to poor sleep quality puts older adults at significantly higher risk for cognitive and functional decline [5]. Sleep loss in older adults has been specifically linked to an increased risk of T2DM and obesity [4]. While aging is linked to a general 5 decline in total sleep time and sleep efficiency, sleep efficiency has been shown to significantly decrease past age 60 [6]. Adequate nutrition has the potential to combat dysregulated sleep and mood.


Omega-3 fatty acids, Protein supplementation, Dietary Intervention, Pittsburg Sleep Quality Index, Profile of Mood States