Eating Disorders

Weight, body image, eating patterns, and nutrition are important concerns for many of today's college students. However, sometimes these concerns begin to interfere with daily life and relationships, or even threaten health and well-being.

At Middlebury, we offer several kinds of support to students for whom eating or related issues have become troublesome. We also offer support and suggestions for those concerned about a friend, roommate, or teammate. 

Because eating concerns and problematic eating behaviors impact a student at many levels, Parton provides a variety of resources. The best approach tends to be a coordinated, collaborative effort between the student, health services, counseling, and nutritionists. Psychiatric referrals are appropriate in some cases. Each situation is unique and Parton staff work with students individually to provide the best approach.

However, because Parton does not specialize in treating eating disorders, students who require ongoing, long-term treatment, and students with more severe cases that pose a threat to their health or safety, are referred off campus.

Often, in these situations, a student is best served by taking time away from the College to fully engage the issues of concern. In less severe cases, students may do well with a combination of on-campus and off-campus support, but must understand that resources are limited at the College and in the surrounding community. Middlebury is a small town in rural Vermont. Students should be aware that the closest eating disorder specialists are in Rutland, VT and Burlington, VT (approximately 45 – 60 minutes away).

Listed below are links to a variety of resources that may be helpful if you or someone you know has concerns about eating or eating related behaviors. For a consultation, please call Health Services at 443-5135 or Counseling at 443-5141.

Resources On and Off Campus

How to Help a Friend

Types of Eating Disorders

After Receiving Intensive Inpatient or Outpatient Treatment: What Next?

Athletes and Eating Issues

Males and Eating Disorders



Sleep Habits

Good sleep hygiene may help promote restful sleep. Here are some tips that may be useful and may be a tremendous influence on a good night's sleep:

  • Wake up at the same time each day.
  • Discontinue caffeine intake at least 4-6 hours before bedtime and minimize total daily use. Caffeine is a stimulant and may disrupt sleep.
  • Avoid nicotine, especially near bedtime and on night awakenings. Nicotine is a stimulant.
  • Avoid the use of alcohol in the late evening. Alcohol can cause awakening later in the night.
  • Avoid heavy meals too close to bedtime, as this may also interfere with sleep. Although, if hungry, a light snack may help induce sleep.
  • Regular exercise in the late afternoon may deepen sleep. However, vigorous exercise within 3-4 hours of bedtime may actually interfere with sleep.
  • Minimize noise, light and excessive temperatures during the sleep period.
  • Move the alarm clock away from the bed if it is a source of distraction.

If you're experiencing difficulty with getting a good night's sleep you may want to record your activities prior to bedtime in this helpful sleep diary: General Sleep Measures Diary