Insomnia is related to an increased risk of eating disorders, while eating disorders are related to more disrupted sleep. Insomnia is also linked to poorer treatment outcomes for eating disorders. However, over the last decade, studies examining sleep and eating disorders have relied on surveys, with no objective measures of sleep for anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa, and only actigraphy data for binge eating disorder. Sleep disturbance is better defined for night eating syndrome, where sleep efficiency is reduced and melatonin release is delayed. Studies that include objectively measured sleep and metabolic parameters combined with psychiatric comorbidity data would help identify under what circumstances eating disorders and sleep disturbance produce an additive effect for symptom severity and for whom poor sleep would increase risk for an eating disorder. Cognitive behavior therapy for insomnia may be a helpful addition to treatment of those with both eating disorder and insomnia.
Keywords: Anorexia nervosa; Binge eating disorder; Bulimia nervosa; Eating disorders; Insomnia; Night eating syndrome.