Early bird or night owl

I am a confirmed night owl, and so is my mom. I don't like mornings, don't function at my best really early in the morning, and if left to my own devices, I don't naturally start to feel sleep until about 2am.

But I've noticed several things during my times in treatment and with all of the people I've met: those who have more anorexic patterns tend to be morning people, but those with a more binge/purge cycle are night owls.

I have no idea if this is true, or if this is just me. So I'm doing a little poll to try and find out. Several things about the questions:

--you can be recovered from your eating disorder and still answer this question. As far as I know, your circadian preferences don't change over time.
--you don't have to have ever met the strict criteria for AN or BN- I used anorexia and bulimia as shorthand for "restricting" and "binge/purge."
--if you have both restricting and binge/purge cycles, pick the one that most regularly crops up in times of stress. Also, if you primarily binge eat, just pick the "bulimia" one. If I had chosen too many options, the data would be meaningless.
--don't know if you're a night owl or early bird? If you have a lot to get done, do you stay up late or get up early? I'm a night owl- I stay up late.

Happy polling!

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Kim said...

Cool post. I'll have to check back for results. I'm anorexic (restrictive type) and definitely a morning person.

Standing in the Rain said...

Really interesting idea Carrie. Thinking back to my time in treatment, I'd say your assumptions are correct.

Carrie Arnold said...

I don't know if there are anything to these assumptions/associations, except that cortisol is dysregulated in AN and likely in BN. I will probably follow up with a post on cortisol sometime late this week.

Lisa said...

Interesting. One of my younger sisters is the only early-bird in the family besides me. Being in school does a number on my sleep cycle, though.

Cammy said...

I answered as Early Bird, because I am indeed an early riser, I wake up at 5 most mornings. But as far as working (school, research, etc) I am pretty crepuscular, I get the most accomplished between 6-8 AM and 8 PM-1 AM.

fighting_forever said...

I am definitely a morning person. I really struggle to stay up late but have no problem waking early. I joke about having an internal alarm clock with no off button. I wake early and can't go back to sleep once I've woken up.

I suffered from bulimia.

Kim said...

Carrie, please do a post on cortisol! Pretty please! My dr. hinted at this being a problem for me, but didn't elaborate. What's the deal?

Anonymous said...

I never noticed this! I'm definitely an early-bird -- I love mornings. Afternoons/evenings have always been a low point for me! Also, I'm recovering from anorexia...

I'd like to note, though, that I've definitely had periods of sleeping-in late. There was one summer in high school where I would sleep until 4pm every day because I was afraid that if I got out of bed, that I would eat. There have been shorter spells of sleeping in, though -- usually with the idea of sleeping through meals.

Tiptoe said...

Definitely an interesting theory. I'm not sure where I fall, however. I've been both an early riser and a night owl throughout my entire eating disorder history which left me burning the candle at both ends.

All I know is that I'm not typically an afternoon/early evening type person.

L said...

me=bulimic&night owl. (that being why I am online when I have to get up in 7 hours. ha ha.)
I agree.
goes with the type A perfectionist stereotype of anorexia that is often true.
I have NEVER been a morning person, and never will be!
I'm less of a night owl than I used to be, but still not a morning person!
If I don't have anywhere to be I just sleep until I cannot sleep anymore!

Carrie Arnold said...

Oh, I fit the anorexic-perfectionistic-obsessive category to a "T." I just stay up late for all of my Type A fun. :)

I am working on the post on EDs and cortisol, which I'm hoping to have done by tonight assuming my haircut after work gets done quickly. One of the perils of going to a cheap-o place, I guess.

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I'm a science writer, a jewelry design artist, a bookworm, a complete geek, and mom to a wonderful kitty. I am also recovering from a decade-plus battle with anorexia nervosa. I believe that complete recovery is possible, and that the first step along that path is full nutrition.

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