When it comes to sleep, we all know that our body is designed to function well when we get adequate amounts of rest. However, the way we eat today can be a major factor in whether we get a good night’s sleep or not. Research has shown that people who have an eating disorder are less likely to have a healthy relationship with food. They often have difficulty regulating their appetite, and may even have an eating disorder such as bulimia or anorexia nervosa. In this article, we will discuss the effects of an eating disorders on sleep, and the ways to cope with this problem.
What are sleep-related Eating Disorders?
Mental health conditions that involve abnormal eating behavior are called eating disorders. Problematic thoughts about food, weight, and/or body image are associated with these behaviors. Many people in the United States are affected by eating disorders. People can have an eating disorder, but it’s more common in teens and young adults. There are several types of eating disorders. Binge eating disorder, bulimia nervosa, and Anorexia nervosa are some of the most common eating disorders. Although all eating disorders can affect sleep, night eating syndrome is the eating disorder that most directly affects sleep.
Types of Eating Disorders
Binge Eating Disorder
Binge eating disorder is one of the most common eating disorders. At some point during a person’s life, it is estimated to affect around 2.8% of them. People with binge eating disorders can have a hard time controlling their eating habits. A lot of episodes involve eating large amounts in a short time and continuing to eat even though they are full. There are feelings of shame and guilt that can come from binge eating. People of any size can suffer from binge eating disorder, but it’s more common in people who are overweight or obese.
People with bulimia nervosa have episodes of out-of-control consumption of large amounts of food like people with binge eating disorder. People with this disorder use behavior such as vomiting, exercising excessively, using laxatives or water pills, and fast to try to stop binge eating. 1% of people are believed to be affected by bulimia nervosa during their lifetime. There can be serious health consequences from consistent vomiting and other behaviors. People with bulimia nervosa can be overweight, average-weight, or underweight depending on their circumstances.
Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder that involves a reduction of food consumption related to an extreme desire to be thin. People with an eating disorder think of themselves as overweight even when they are considered to be thin. There are two types of eating disorders, anorexia nervosa. Major restrictions on food intake are what the restrictive type involves. The binge-purge type includes behaviors like vomiting or using laxatives to try to maximize weight loss. Malnourishment can be serious and life-threatening if there is insufficient food consumption. The death rate for anorexia nervosa is higher than any other mental health disorder. Around, 6% of people experience an eating disorder at some point during their life according to studies.
Night Eating Syndrome
1.5% of people are believed to be affected by night-eating syndrome. People with this condition typically eat between 25% and 50% of their daily calories after dinner. They feel a strong urge to eat at night, even though they aren’t normally hungry in the morning. Many people with the night-eating syndrome have insomnia. It’s normal to wake up multiple times in the night, and eating may be necessary to get back to sleep.
There is a correlation between night-eating syndrome and being overweight. It can cause emotional distress, such as shame or guilt, and sleep interruption can cause daytime drowsiness and impairment. Night-eating syndrome is thought to be connected to the rhythm of the body’s clock. A broad range of bodily functions are controlled by the internal clock of a person.
Relation Between Eating Disorders and Sleep
There is an overlap between sleeping problems and eating disorders in many research studies. Not everyone with poor sleep has an eating disorder and not everyone with eating disorder has trouble sleeping. At a rate that strongly indicates an association, these issues arise at a rapid rate. Eating disorders and sleep have a relationship, according to many experts. Eating disorders can have a negative effect on sleep and sleep disruptions can contribute to the symptoms of eating disorders.
How to Ease the Eating Disorders for Better Sleep
It is always beneficial to commit to getting better sleep because it is fundamental to virtually all aspects of health. People with eating disorders may benefit from improved sleep because of the positive effect it has on their symptoms. If you have sleeping difficulties, it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor or psychiatrist. There are signs of an underlying sleep disorder that can be directly addressed to improve sleep. Upgrading your sleep hygiene is a step in the right direction.
High-quality sleep can be achieved by building healthy sleep habits and designing your bedroom in a way that makes it easy to sleep.
Although there are many ways to improve your sleep hygiene, some are more important than others:
- On weekends, the same wake-up and sleep time is used every day.
- Each night, preparing for bed is the same.
- It’s a good idea to avoid screen time for at least 30 minutes before bed and not to check your phone in bed.
- Outfitting your bedroom with a high-quality mattress and bedding will make your bed more inviting.
Making sure that your sleep isn’t disrupted by light, noise, or an uncomfortable bedroom temperature is taking steps.
Sleep is very important for our health, but it is often neglected by people with eating disorders. It is also very difficult to get enough sleep when you have an eating disorder because your body is constantly telling you that you are not hungry. However, if you seek help from a physician you can get over eating disorders that may lead to disturbed sleep.
If you want to know more about different sleep related disorder check out here.