What is Night Eating Disorder?
Night eating syndrome (NES) is a condition that combines overeating at night with sleep problems. NES sufferers tend to eat a lot after dinner, have difficulty sleeping, and then eat more when they wake up at night. Night eating disorder is currently included in the Other Specified Feeding or Eating Disorder (OSFED) category of the DSM-5.
Do You or Does Someone You Love Have a Night Eating Disorder?
You may have a night eating disorder if these symptoms look familiar:
- Lack of appetite in the morning
- A strong urge to eat between dinner and sleep
- Insomnia or difficulty sleeping four or five nights a week
- A belief that eating is necessary to get to sleep or get back to sleep
- A depressed mood that gets worse during evening hours
- Secrecy about the night eating and sleep struggles
- Hiding food, covering up their eating patterns
Night eating syndrome is different from binge eating. With binge eating, you’re more likely to eat a lot at a single sitting. With night eating disorder, it’s likely that you eat smaller amounts throughout the night.
Individuals with night eating syndrome feel like they have no control over their eating patterns, and often feel shame and guilt over their condition. We can help. Call and speak with a counselor confidentially at (888) 837-6577.
Night Eating Disorder Health Risks
Individuals with night eating syndrome are often obese or overweight, which makes them susceptible to health problems caused by being overweight, including high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol. Those who are obese increase their risk of heart diseases, many types of cancer and gallbladder disease.
What Causes Night Eating Disorder?
Research isn’t entirely clear on its cause. Experts believe there are ties between night eating disorder and sleep-wake cycle problems and hormones. And research has shown depression, anxiety and substance abuse are more common in night eating disorder sufferers. Researchers have also found possible links between night eating disorder and genetics. But more research is needed to verify all of these potential ties.
Treatment for night eating syndrome typically begins with educating patients about their condition. Treatment typically includes nutrition assessment and therapy, and an integration of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), and other therapeutic elements to help clients gain control of their disorder.
Helping Someone with Night Eating Syndrome
Night eating disorder is treatable. Most who receive treatment recover and resume a healthy lifestyle. It is important for you to seek treatment as early as possible.
At Honey Lake Clinic, our experienced staff, licensed therapists, psychologists, and psychiatrists understand that effective treatment for eating disorders requires a multifaceted, faith-based approach, involving healing of the body, mind, and spirit. Our unique treatment programs specifically and deeply address all three spheres, offering each client his or her greatest chance at wholeness and transformative growth.