Night eating syndrome Agubey

Overeating at night and sleep issues are both symptoms of night eating syndrome (NES). When you have NES, you eat a lot after dinner, struggle to go asleep, and wake up hungry at night. People who have Night Eating Syndrome frequently eat because they think it will make their sleep better or help them fall asleep again. People with this illness typically have little appetite in the morning and skip meals rather frequently. They frequently feel guilty and ashamed about their eating.

Psychiatrist Albert Stunkard first spoke of NES in 1955, describing it as a behavioural kind of obesity. It has so primarily been researched in the context of obesity studies. People who suffer from night eating syndrome frequently feel ashamed and guilty about their illness and feel as though they have no control over their eating habits. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, night eating syndrome affects 1.5% of people and is equally prevalent in men and women. If you or your spouse are facing any such mental health problems, seek Online Marriage Counselling at TalktoAngel.

Signs and symptoms of night eating syndrome

People who have NES or who live with someone who have may pick up on various signs around the house. For instance, they would notice missing food or messes in the kitchen, which would indicate that someone had been up and eating in the middle of the night. These are clues that someone in the house might suffer from night eating syndrome.

The following are the main signs of night eating syndrome:

  • Recurring instances of eating at night, including eating when you wake up from sleep
  • Excessive food consumption following dinner
  • Recognizing and remembering nighttime eating
  • Significant suffering or disability brought on by nighttime eating
  • Inability to eat in the morning
  • An overwhelming desire to eat between dinner and bed
  • Four to five evenings a week with insomnia a conviction that eating is important for falling asleep or staying asleep
  • A depressed state that worsens throughout the evening

Causes of night eating syndrome

The precise cause of NES is unknown to healthcare professionals. They postulate a number of causes for it, including:

Disorders of the circadian rhythm:

The circadian rhythm is the body’s internal “clock,” which regulates when you feel hungry, sleepy, and alert. Your internal clock doesn’t function properly if you have NES. In contrast to the daytime, your body produces hormones at night that make you feel alert and hungry.


Since NES can run in families, medical professionals believe that genes may influence who develops the disorder.

Mental health:

Depression and anxiety are common mood disorders among those who have NES.

Other disorders:

Substance addiction and other eating disorders are more prevalent in NES patients. Additionally, they are more prone to be obese. However, it’s unclear how these illnesses and NES are related.

Daytime dieting:

NES can occasionally be brought on by a lack of calories during the day. People may be more likely to overeat at night if they restrict their food consumption throughout the day.

No apparent distinctions are made between gender, age, or socioeconomic background in the case of night eating syndrome. However, it happens more frequently in those who have:

  • Other eating disorders, including bulimia or binge eating disorder
  • Depression
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • a low sense of self
  • Psychiatric conditions or usage of antipsychotic medications
  • Smoking
  • diabetes type 2
  • Sleep apnea
  • Restless leg syndrome

Effects of Night Eating Syndrome on Health

People who have night eating syndrome are frequently obese or overweight, making them more prone to diseases brought on by obesity, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol. Obese people are more likely to develop heart conditions, various cancers, and gallbladder problems.

People who experience night eating syndrome frequently have a history of substance addiction and may also be depressed. They frequently claim to feel worse at night. They commonly suffer from sleep difficulties as well.

Treatment for night eating syndrome

Your healthcare professional can suggest a single therapy or a mix of therapies to treat NES. Treatments include of:


  • You can modify problematic behaviours and develop healthy habits with the aid of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), a type of talk therapy. You might eat more during the day and manage your appetite at night with the aid of CBT.
  • Mood-enhancing and emotion-controlling antidepressant drugs like selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).
  • Progressive muscular relaxation and other mind-body techniques can help you relax and go back to sleep.
  • Utilizing a specific light for 15 to 30 minutes each day is known as light therapy (phototherapy). Your circadian rhythm will be altered by this lamp, causing you to feel tired at night.
  • The hormone melatonin controls and regulates the sleep-wake cycle. If you’re having trouble falling and staying asleep at night, your doctor may advise taking melatonin tablets.
  • Program for managing your weight, allowing you to maintain a healthy weight, make healthy dietary choices, and feel better overall.

If you or your partner need more information on the treatments of NES, feel free to seek Marriage Counselling at TalktoAngel.

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