Is poor sleep quality related to disordered eating behavior and mental health among university students?

Suna G., Ayaz A.

SLEEP AND BIOLOGICAL RHYTHMS, vol.20, no.3, pp.345-352, 2022 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 20 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s41105-022-00374-9
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED)
  • Page Numbers: pp.345-352
  • Keywords: University students, Sleep quality, Eating disorders, Night eating syndrome, Depression, COLLEGE-STUDENTS, ATTITUDES, PATTERNS, HABITS, ASSOCIATION, INDEX
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


The role of sleep in eating behavior has received increasing attention in recent years. This paper aimed to determine the prevalence and associations between sleep quality and mental health, anthropometric measurements, and disordered eating in university students. This cross-sectional research was conducted among 568 students (78.7% women) aged 18-25 years. Students completed a survey including demographic information, Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), Eating Attitude Test-26 (EAT-26), Night Eating Questionnaire (NEQ), and Beck Depression Inventory (BDI). Anthropometric measurements were taken. Students were grouped based on poor (PSQI > 5) and good (PSQI <= 5) sleep quality. The students' average age was 20.32 +/- 1.61 years. Additionally, 36.3% (n = 206) of the students had PSQI > 5, and these students had more frequent night eating syndrome (NES) and depressive symptoms. Students with PSQI > 5 had significantly higher total NEQ and BDI scores than students with PSQI <= 5. Significant positive correlations were found between sleep quality and its subscale scores with NEQ and BDI scores. When anthropometric measurements were evaluated according to gender, a significant difference was found between sleep quality and body mass index and waist/hip ratio in men only. There was a significant association between PSQI > 5 and NES after adjusting for age, sex, class standing, residency, smoking status, and alcohol consumption on logistic regression. Our results suggest that PSQI > 5 is a significant risk for the NES, but not other disordered eating behaviors or obesity. The relationship between sleep, depression, anthropometric measurements, and disordered eating should be further evaluated in future studies.