Night eating syndrome (NES) is an eating disorder (ED) characterized by nocturnal ingestion (NI), evening hyperphagia, morning anorexia, as well as mood and sleep disturbances. This study compared subjective and objective sleep quality and ED-related psychopathologies in patients seeking treatment for ED. Method: The sample was composed of 170 women, aged 18-68, who were referred for an ED assessment from 2011 to 2020. The participants were divided into three subgroups: NES-NI only (n = 30), NES+ binge eating (BE) (including binge eating disorders or bulimia nervosa (n = 52), and BE-only (n = 88). The measures consisted of a psychiatric evaluation, objective sleep monitoring measured by an actigraph for 1 week, a subjective sleep self-report, and ED-related psychopathology questionnaires. Results: Objective sleep monitoring revealed significant group differences, with higher sleep efficiency in participants with BE-only and longer sleep durations for the NES-NI only group. Subjectively, the BE-only group described a significantly lower sleep quality than either the NES-NI only or the NES+BE groups. ED-related psychopathology was lower in the NES-NI-only group. A stepwise linear regression revealed that general psychopathology (the brief symptom inventory total score) was a significant predictor of subjective sleep quality. Conclusion: NES-NI-only was correlated with less psychopathology, but with more subjective and objective sleep disturbances. These results lend weight to the supposition that NES lies on a continuum of ED psychopathologies, and that NES-NI-only appears to be a separate entity from NES+BE and BE-only in terms of its psychopathology.
- Binge eating disorders
- Bulimia nervosa
- Night eating syndrome
- Sleep quality
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes