What is Night Eating Syndrome?
Night Eating Syndrome is a disorder in which someone consumes most of their daily calorie intake after dinner, frequently waking in the middle of the night to eat. Foods eaten are typically unhealthy and high in calories. After night eating, a person is not hungry in the morning and often does not eat for several hours after waking up. Insomnia and sleeping problems are common in those with night eating syndrome.
Urges to eat in the middle of the night often feel uncontrollable and are triggered by various stressors such as boredom or extensive dieting. Typically, night eating leaves the individual with feelings of guilt, anxiousness and disgust.
In most cases, those with this syndrome will hide the fact from others. Many eating disorder sufferers are too afraid or embarrassed to admit their problem, leaving them forever trapped in their disorder. Fortunately, there are now eating disorder treatment clinics where people in need of eating disorder treatment can feel comfortable. These eating disorder residential programs are here to provide hope and recovery for men and women with eating disorders, as well as act as places of refuge.
Triggers for Night Eating Syndrome
Triggers for this disorder include:
- Extensive dieting
- Poor self image
- Sleep walking
Who has Night Eating Syndrome?
Approximately 1% of the population suffers from night eating syndrome. Other studies have determined that a large percentage of obese individuals have night eating disorders. Many people with night eating syndrome are either obese or overweight, but typically all are unhappy with their weight. Eating disorder treatment centers are available to bring back confidence and a healthy self-image to those with night eating syndrome.
Ten Common Signs of Night Eating Syndrome
- Eating more food after dinner than during the meal
- Feeling agitated and moody at night
- Not hungry for breakfast in the morning
- Waking up frequently at night
- Unable to sleep
- Continuously eating during the middle of the night
- Eating mostly carbohydrates
- Getting up more than once to eat at night
- Delaying eating in the morning for several hours
- Feeling anxious or guilty after eating at night
Risks/Complications of Night Eating Syndrome
The physical side effects of night eating syndrome are similar to those of compulsive eaters. These eating disorders can both be treated at various eating disorder residential centers. Risks of night eating syndrome include:
- Low self-esteem
- Guilt, anxiousness
Eating disorder residential programs are offered for those seeking recovery from night eating syndrome and other similar eating disorders.