What is night-eating syndrome?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Night-eating syndrome (NES) may technically not be a sleep disorder, but an eating disorder instead. Many people with NES however have trouble falling or staying asleep, a symptom of insomnia, which is why the lines are blurred to its classification. Alternatively, NES and sleep-related eating disorder (SRED) may be part of the same syndrome, but different parts of the spectrum. Regardless, this problem can be equally detrimental to one's health.

NES sufferers may eat a normal dinner but between 8 pm and 6 am, it's a feeding frenzy. They usually recall the eating episodes but the urges are uncontrollable, strong and occur at frequent intervals of wakefulness. High-calorie carbohydrates are the food of choice. People with NES can consume up to 50% of their daily calories at night. They wake in the morning full and satiated and often skip breakfast.

Like SRED, nighttime-eating syndrome is poorly understood. People with certain forms of depression and substance abusers are at higher risk.

This content originally appeared on doctoroz.com
Night-eating syndrome is an eating disorder often linked to obesity. An individual with  night-eating syndrome may eat sparingly or not at all in the morning. However, at night time, the individual eats copious amounts of food, often high-calorie food. Often the individual will wake up in the middle of the night to eat. It is not known what causes night-eating syndrome, but it does seem to be related to depression.

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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.