People who eat a large variety of food have the healthiest sleep pattern, say American scientists. Now, a new study from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania shows for the first time that certain nutrients may play an underlying role in short and long sleep duration. "Overall, people who sleep seven to eight hours each night differ in terms of their diet, compared to people who sleep less or more. We also found that short and long sleep are associated with lower food variety," said Dr. Grandner of the research team, Science Daily reported. According to the study published in the online journal Appetite (ahead-of-print) the team found that very short sleep was associated with less intake of tap water, lycopene (found in red-and orange-coloured foods), and total carbohydrates whereas short sleep was associated with less vitamin C, tap water, selenium (found in nuts, meat and shellfish), and more lutein/zeaxanthin (found in green, leafy vegetables). Long sleep was associated with less intake of theobromine (found in chocolate and tea), dodecanoic acid (a saturated fat), choline (found in eggs and fatty meats), total carbohydrates, and more alcohol.