Sleep Patterns Before and After Weight Restoration in Females with Anorexia Nervosa: A Longitudinal Controlled Study

Eur Eat Disord Rev. 2016 Sep;24(5):425-9. doi: 10.1002/erv.2461. Epub 2016 Jun 28.


Objective: To assess sleep patterns in female patients with anorexia nervosa before and after weight restoration.

Methods: Sleep patterns were measured objectively using a Sense Wear Armband before and after weight restoration in 50 female patients with anorexia nervosa, and in 25 healthy females.

Results: At baseline, patients with anorexia nervosa exhibited lower total sleep time and sleep onset latency than controls, the former apparently associated with baseline BMI, duration of illness and age. However, after weight restoration, total sleep time and sleep onset latency were similar to controls, despite the persistence of longer periods of wake after sleep onset.

Discussion: In patients with anorexia nervosa, total sleep time and sleep onset latency appears to be reduced. This sleep disturbance seems to be influenced by the duration and severity of malnutrition, and appears to normalize with weight restoration. Even though a discontinuous sleep pattern seems to persist, this finding should be discussed with patients. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and Eating Disorders Association.

Keywords: anorexia nervosa; sense wear armband; sleep patterns; starvation.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anorexia Nervosa / complications*
  • Body Weight
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / complications
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Sleep / physiology*
  • Sleep Wake Disorders*
  • Weight Gain*
  • Young Adult