Partial sleep deprivation and food intake in participants reporting binge eating symptoms and emotional eating: preliminary results of a quasi-experimental study

  • Silvia CeroliniEmail author
  • Rachel F. Rodgers
  • Caterina Lombardo
Original Article
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Sleep and Eating and Weight disorders


Sleep deprivation consistently increases food intake. This study aimed to evaluate the effect of partial sleep deprivation on food intake in individuals reporting binge eating, controlling for self-reported depressive emotional eating. Fourteen young adults reporting binge eating symptoms and 14 controls denying any eating disorders symptoms were offered a large and varied breakfast after a night of habitual sleep (HN) and after a night of partial sleep deprivation (DN). Food intake was unobtrusively measured while daily food intake was measured via a food diary. Results revealed only a significant effect of the Night on fibre consumed at breakfast and on the amount of daily snacks: both groups consumed less fibre and more snacks after DN compared to after HN. However, when controlling for depressive emotional eating, results showed that individuals reporting low depressive emotional eating ate less after DN than after HN at breakfast, but then they ate more throughout the day. Partial sleep deprivation may decrease fibre consumption and increase daily snacks regardless of binge eating symptoms, while daily food intake may increase only in individuals who do not report emotional eating.

Level of evidence

Experimental study, Level 1.


Sleep deprivation Food intake Binge eating Emotional eating Experimental design 



We thank the graduate students who took part in the data collection: Valeria Bacaro, Giulia Crescentini, Irene Fermanelli and Chiara Lenza. Furthermore, we thank Nicola Cellini for lending us the electronic devices (ZEO) used in this study.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyLa Sapienza University of RomeRomeItaly
  2. 2.APPEAR, Department of Applied PsychologyNortheastern UniversityBostonUSA
  3. 3.Department of Psychiatric Emergency and Acute Care, Lapeyronie HospitalCHRU MontpellierMontpellierFrance

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