Malin Mandelid Kleppe
, Ute Kessler, Guro Årdal Rekkedal, Hanna Flækøy Skjåkødegård, Yngvild Sørebø Danielsen
Studien er publisert i Journal of Eating Disorders
Background: Sleep difficulties are common in patients with anorexia nervosa (AN), but objective assessments have mostly been performed in hospital and laboratory settings. We aimed to identify differences in sleep patterns between patients with AN and healthy controls (HC) in their free-living environments, and potential associations between sleep patterns and clinical symptoms in patients with AN.
Methods: This cross-sectional study analyzed 20 patients with AN prior to them starting outpatient treatment and 23 HC. Sleep patterns were measured objectively using an accelerometer (Philips Actiwatch 2) for 7 consecutive days. Average sleep onset, sleep offset, total sleep time, sleep efficiency, wake after sleep onset (WASO) and mid-sleep awakenings lasting ≥ 5 min were compared between patients with AN and HC using nonparametric statistical analyses. Associations of sleep patterns with body mass index, eating-disorder symptoms, eating-disorder-associated impairment, and symptoms of depression were assessed in the patient group.
Results: Compared with HC, patients with AN had shorter WASO [median (interquartile range(IQR)): 33 vs. 42 min], but a longer average duration of mid-sleep awakenings lasting ≥ 5 min [median (IQR): 9 vs. 6 min, p = 0.006] and had more nights with no sleep (six nights in four patients with AN vs. zero nights in HC). There were no differences between patients with AN and HC regarding other sleep parameters and no significant correlations between sleep patterns and clinical parameters in patients with AN. However, HC presented a Intraindividual variability pattern that was closer to a normal distribution, whereas patients with AN tended to either have very regular or large variability in sleep onset time (AN; n = 7 < 25th percentile and n = 8 > 75th percentile vs. HC; n = 4 < 25 percentile and n = 3 > 75th percentile) during the week of sleep recordings.
Conclusion: Patients with AN seem to spend more time awake during the night and have more nights without sleep than do HC, even though their average weekly sleep duration did not differ from that in HC. The intraindividual variability in sleep pattern seems to be an important parameter that should be assessed when studying sleep in patients with AN.