Do You Know What Night Eating Syndrome Is And What Are Its Causes?

People suffering from night eating syndrome rarely eat in the morning and often feel a strong need to eat in the evening and at night. They can also struggle with insomnia.
Do you know what night eating syndrome is and what are its causes?

Have you ever overeat late in the evening or at night? If so, then it’s possible that the night eating team is no stranger to you.

People with this condition wake up in the middle of the night to eat. They often eat at this time of day because they wake up with an uncontrolled urge to eat. However, this only happens at night. During the day, these people may either have no appetite, or simply refrain from eating, imposing a strict diet on themselves.

The group of people who eat at night is not small at all. Eating at night is actually quite common. About 1 in 100 people suffer from night eating syndrome .

What is night eating syndrome?

Binge eating is a serious problem that you can recognize by these two characteristics:

  • A person eats a large amount of food, much more than others would eat under similar circumstances.
  • There is a feeling of being out of control. This person cannot stop eating and has no control over it.

Characteristics of the night eating syndrome

Who hasn’t heard of eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia?

The woman is overeating in front of the fridge, night eating team

But believe it or not, night eating syndrome is a more common condition.

People with strong eating syndrome often have trouble controlling their emotions and experience panic attacks, which can include:

  • anxiety
  • depression
  • sleep disorders,
  • low self-esteem.

According to some psychologists, people who experience night eating syndrome usually have weight problems. This is because they eat most of their meals at the time they should be asleep.

Moreover, 20% of obese people admit that they feel better and feel full when they eat at night. Likewise, more than 75% of them fulfill their need to eat at night.

However, while this condition is more common in obese people, it can affect anyone.

Night eating syndrome – symptoms

The symptoms and patterns of the condition are clear and recurrent in people with an eating disorder. As mentioned above, people with night eating syndrome hardly eat during the day. They may also completely abstain from eating during the day. They seem to lack appetite during the day.

Moreover, these people tend to be more energetic in the morning, but their energy diminishes during the day. In addition, sleep disorders are very common.

The most common foods they eat are usually high in carbohydrates, such as sweets, cookies, bread, rice, and pasta.

Tips to prevent and treat night eating syndrome

The exact causes of this problem are still being investigated and, therefore, the search for an effective treatment is still ongoing. We know, however, that approaching this problem through the topic of being overweight is not a good solution. This is a delicate subject, and night eaters already know and feel guilty about it.

The woman is holding someone's hand
Therapy could be helpful in finding the specific cause of your unhealthy eating habits. At the same time, it would be determined how to combat them.

Moreover, unlike other eating disorders, this condition may not necessarily be related to a person’s weight or appearance. This means night eaters aren’t always dissatisfied with their body shape (or at least that’s not their main concern).

For this reason, the most important thing is to understand where their feelings and anxiety come from and why they are trying to alleviate them with food. Therefore, working with such a patient usually requires the interdisciplinary intervention of specialists in the field of psychology, psychiatry and nutrition.

Therefore, the following advice is based on seeing the problem from multiple perspectives.

Nutritional perspective

  • People with night eating syndrome must follow a proper diet and adapt it to their condition.
  • They should exercise at least 30 minutes a day.
  • Rest is essential to health, both in quantity and quality. They need to learn techniques to help them get enough rest.
  • They should lower their stress levels by doing whatever brings them joy and satisfaction. Socializing and spending time together are essential to good health.

Psychological perspective

Cognitive behavioral therapy can help a person with night eating syndrome understand and gradually change their behavior. It will help organize your thoughts and deal with the stress and anxiety associated with her condition.

Summary

Night eating syndrome is a much more common condition than the better known anorexia and bulimia nervosa.

Therefore, it is important to develop an interdisciplinary approach to tackling this problem, focusing first on treating the anxiety that causes night eating.

Don’t hesitate and see a specialist for professional help if you feel you are obsessed with food, especially at night, or if you have high levels of anxiety.

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