What causes sleep-related eating disorder?

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Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)

Sleep-related eating disorder (SRED) is a quite a mystery and the cause elusive. Many people with SRED started out as sleepwalkers or have been diagnosed with another sleep disorder, which points to a defect in sleep centers as the root cause.

Sleep is an extremely complicated biological process influenced by hormones and intertwined feedback systems. When the mechanism that controls wakefulness and sleep during a normal sleep cycles fails, a person can remain "asleep" but continue to walk, eat, or perform other activities (some people get in their cars and drive!). And paradoxically, SRED can also be brought on by certain sleep medications, which some people take to help them fall and stay asleep.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.