The aim of the present study was to investigate if disordered eating behaviors predicted the development of sleep disturbances. A total of 870 students participated at baseline, 592 one year later (T1) and 305 two years later (T2). The Eating Attitudes Test-40 was used to assess global disordered eating behaviors, dietary concerns (DC), bulimic behaviors (BB) and social pressure to eat (SPE). Sleep disturbances were assessed by two items related to difficulties initiating sleep (DIS) and maintaining sleep (DMS). A sleep disturbance index (SDI) was calculated by summing DIS and DMS scores. Results revealed that global disordered eating behaviors at baseline predicted DIS, DMS and SDI at T1 and T2. Students with increased BB and SPE scores at baseline were more likely to experience sleep onset and sleep maintenance difficulties in the long term. These results suggest that assessment and correction of eating behaviors might prevent sleep disturbances.
- Disordered eating behaviors
- Sleep disturbances