How eating disorders affect your sleep - Better Health Solutions

How eating disorders affect your sleep

How Eating Disorders Affect Your Sleep

You are probably aware of the side effects of eating disorder and how they affect your body and mental health. But did you know it could also be affecting your sleep? There have been studies that show a correlation between certain types of eating disorders and unhealthy eating behaviors, and having issues sleeping.

Unhealthy Habits Beget Unhealthy Habits

The first way your lack of sleep could be affecting your eating disorder, and vice versa, is that one unhealthy habit often leads to another. People who suffer from eating disorders often find many different areas of their life and health is at jeopardy. Not just the immediate health concerns, but things like your mental health and problems sleeping. Your body might not get the nutrients it needs to find good rest at night, so you find yourself with insomnia.

It also can work the other way around. Where you are having issues sleeping, and suddenly you have a larger appetite, or unhealthy eating habits you used to suffer with suddenly come back. It is all related to how you feel and your emotional health, which sleep deprivation unfortunately can really have a negative effect on.

Sleep-Related Eating Disorder

There is also an eating disorder called sleep-related eating disorder, where you tend to have unusual eating patterns at night. This is often related to a type of sleepwalking, where when you get up at night, you tend to eat whatever you can find in the kitchen, and in the morning, you don’t remember doing so.

This isn’t just an issue with sleepwalking, but with your emotional health when you wake up and realize how much you have eaten. It is an unconscious form of overeating that can develop into other types of eating disorders and unhealthy eating patterns. This is why sleepwalking should be treated properly to avoid this type of behavior

Binge Eating from Lack of Sleep

You might also notice that on the days when you have a larger appetite or eating without even thinking about how much you are eating, you didn’t get good sleep the night before. One of the side effects of sleep deprivation is having appetite changes, usually where your body craves more food. You might notice binge eating behaviors when you have continued lack of sleep, particularly cravings for unhealthy food like sugar and refined carbohydrates.


It is important that you really focus getting on proper sleep for your mind and body. Your health and wellness rely on you to get proper rest in order for the other functions of your body and mind to work properly. When you don’t get enough sleep, it can lead to overeating, not eating enough, or developing otherwise unhealthy eating habits.

It can also lead to disordered eating if you have a history of mental illness, which is often linked to eating disorders or any unhealthy eating behavior.

Make sure you talk to a doctor about your sleep and eating disorder issues, as they might very well be linked.

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