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Sleep-Related Eating Disorders


There are certain sleeping disorders where there is compulsion in people to eat and that too compulsively. People who have a sleep-related eating disorder often have episodes of eating while sleepwalking through the night.

During this phase, the sufferer has special consciousness and during this state, he prepares the food and eats it. The person has little or no memory of the action (night time eating adventures while sleep walking) he has performed in the morning.

Risk of sleep related eating disorders

There is huge risk associated with this illness since the person will be cooking and using kitchen and kitchen appliances which could be dangerous (he may pick up knife or accidently burn with fire or may get an electric shock). Another risk is on drinking/eating something toxic or bad.

Another thing is the risk related to bad lifestyle like eating high-carbohydrate and high-fat foods. People sometimes eat other non-conventional things like coffee grounds, frozen food or cigarette butts. Hence there is another level of risk of health disorders such as heart diseases, diabetes, high blood cholesterol, weight gain, etc.

Who are at high risk of sleep related eating illness?

People who have Restless Legs Syndrome are prone to this type of eating disorder. It may also be present in people with OSA and CSA. This illness can also be present as a little side effect of short-term sleep medications like Zolpidem – typical brands are Ambien, Edluar, Zolpimist, etc.

There are lot of symptoms which persist for at least two months:

  1. No appetite or hunger at breakfast
  2. Eating more food after dinner as compared to the meal time
  3. You eat half of your daily food after dinner is over
  4. You wake up in the night, eat something and then fall back to sleep

Men and women are equally vulnerable to this disorder, still it is more common in women than in men. There are about 5% people in the world has this disorder. The sufferer of sleep related sleeping disorders often diet during the day and then they binge eat during the night. In some of the cases, the people who eat in the night during the sleep have alcoholism, drug abuse, and other substance abuse histories.

Treatment of Sleep Related Eating Disorder

The treatment of nocturnal eating starts with proper brain activity monitoring. There are some Medicines which gives some relief. Other methods include stress management classes, counselling, avoidance of alcohol and caffeine.

Sometimes crying or laughing
are the only options left,
and laughing feels better right now.

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