Night eating disorder

Are you or do you know anyone who is into repetitive night time eating even though he or she is not hungry?

I know of a close one who raided the pantry for snacks at night and more lately into full meals like leftovers or instant noodles.

Perhaps this is due to the fact that (let’s call this person S) S suffers from insomnia and depression.  S is a beautiful and kind person.  Unless you are close friends with S, you would not have guessed what goes on in S’s life.

This bothers me and I did a little research and found that S has SRED.

SRED as savage as it sounds is more than binge eating.

It is also important to distinguish between sleep-related eating disorder, (SRED) a disorder which has received a significant amount of media attention, and night eating syndrome. People with SRED eat while sleepwalking, or while in a twilight state between sleep and being awake. People with SRED are not aware of what they’re doing, and often they may wake up to discover dishes or food  in their bed, and have no memory of eating at all. A high percentage of these patients typically use prescription sleeping medications.  By contrast, those with night eating syndrome are fully awake and aware of what they are consuming–with no memory deficits or lack of recall for their nightly eating rituals.

One theory is that night eating syndrome involves a disruption in the hormones that regulate sleep, appetite, and mood–specifically, an alteration or disruption in the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis.  It is possible that night eating syndrome may be a form of “self-medication”, since a large proportion of snacking late at night generally involves carbohydrate-rich or “comfort” type foods.

S is conscious to his/her eating disorder but S makes no effort to dieting or healthy eating.  S told me that food is his/her source of comfort and is something he/she looks forward to every night.  S uses food to combat his/her feeling of loneliness, depression or other negativity in his/her life which seems to appear only at night.  In the day time, S goes to work like everyone else and S is friendly and seems to be surrounded by friends (or acquaintances).

I see S as a beautiful person, his/her regular eating during meal times is gentle (no over eating) yet S’s SRED in the dread of the night is a concern that other people do not know about.  Only S and others in the same household can see the other side of S.  S may be crying out for help but is help available to someone who has depression, someone who pops sleeping pills nightly to get a good night’s sleep and someone who has SRED (Sleep-related Eating Disorder) ?

Are you really what you eat?

If the notion that to be fit and healthy you need to eat good food, then perhaps S can feed his/her SRED with brain food.

We need different foods at certain times of our lives – for example, a pre-schooler and an elderly woman have vastly different food requirements because the youngster is growing and very active, while the ageing process causes us to slow down.

If you really have to snack, snack it right !

nightsnacks

Let’s pray that S and those in the same situation will overcome their eating disorder.

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