Daily and nightly anxiety among patients affected by night eating syndrome and binge eating disorder

Eat Disord. 2009 Mar-Apr;17(2):140-5. doi: 10.1080/10640260802714597.


We tested if there were any differences about nocturnal and diurnal anxiety between patients either affected by Binge Eating Disorder (BED) or Night eating Syndrome (NES). Fifty four patients affected by BED, 13 by NES and 16 by both BED and NES were tested using the Self Rating Anxiety Scale (SAS) and the Sleep Disturbance Questionnaire (SDQ). Their nocturnal eating behavior was ascertained through the Night Eating Questionnaire (NEQ). Patients affected by both BED and NES scored significantly higher on SAS than other patients. Among NES patients we found a correlation between a SDQ subscale and two subscales of the NEQ. Among BED patients we found a correlation between SAS scores and the nocturnal ingestion subscale of the NEQ. Nocturnal eating is related to nocturnal anxiety among NES patients while it is related to diurnal anxiety among patients affected by BED. These findings support the hypothesis that BED and NES are distinct syndromes sharing overeating but with different pathways to excessive food intake.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anxiety / diagnosis
  • Anxiety / psychology*
  • Anxiety / therapy
  • Body Mass Index
  • Bulimia Nervosa / diagnosis
  • Bulimia Nervosa / psychology*
  • Bulimia Nervosa / therapy
  • Circadian Rhythm*
  • Energy Intake
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / diagnosis
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / psychology*
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / therapy
  • Female
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Interview, Psychological
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motivation
  • Obesity / diagnosis
  • Obesity / psychology
  • Obesity / therapy
  • Personality Inventory / statistics & numerical data
  • Psychometrics
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / diagnosis
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / psychology*
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / therapy
  • Young Adult