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Background

The prevalence of sleep disturbances in bariatric surgical candidates is high and could contribute to non-optimal eating habits during periods of non-sleep. The current study evaluated the relationship between sleep, binge eating, and night eating as measured during pre-surgical psychological evaluations.

Methods

The sample (which is being added to continuously) included 54 surgery-seeking patients (BMI M = 46.38 (±8.59); 90.7% female) who completed standardized measures. These included the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), Binge Eating Scale (BES) and Night Eating Questionnaire (NEQ). Bivariate and partial correlations between variables were calculated and a mediating model with PSQI as the predictor, NEQ as the outcome, and BES as the mediator was also tested.

Results

The tendency to binge eat explained less variance in aberrant night eating behaviors than the simpler, more concretely observed lack of sleep. This has potential implications for pre-surgical screening and treatment, in that sleep disturbances typically entail much briefer, more direct interventions than binge eating. Additionally, patients are less likely to bias their responses about sleep in comparison to binge eating, which affords advantages to accurate identification of symptoms.