Night eating plagues many people. Night eaters tend to have problems with sleeping, and often get up to engage in late night eating. You may be angry, frustrated and embarrassed if you engage in night eating, since it can be a hard habit to break.
The best interventions for night eating start during the day. Depending on what type of night eater you are, begin with simple, moderate goals. Simply adding a rule that says “stop night eating” will not necessarily work, and you will feel more frustrated in the process.
Record your thoughts about your night eating in a journal. Write down whatever you can remember every day.
If you plan for when you will eat, and include an evening snack, this may help to stop night eating. But if you eat at random times, then you may feel worse about your night eating, because it doesn’t follow a set pattern.
Eating at night can evoke a lot of feelings. Using strategies to deal with your feelings about night eating, as well as the night eating itself, can help.
Following a structured schedule can help to reduce night eating. Eating at regular times during the day and going to sleep at regular times when you are tired can definitely help.
Using imagery has been successful at helping people to stop night eating. Simply imagine yourself going to sleep at a regular time each night and sleeping peacefully throughout the night.
Imagine yourself falling back to sleep if you wake up. It’s also OK if you don’t fall back to sleep, but try to keep your mind free of anxiety. Just rest and know that everything will be OK whether you fall back asleep or not. The harder you “try” the harder it can be. And if you get yourself worked up in your mind, then it defeats the purpose.
Simply imagine yourself resting or sleeping peacefully (and waking up refreshed) in your mind over and over again. Be as specific about this as you can.
Imagine what you want to think about as you fall asleep. Establish a relaxing routine before bed. You may listen to meditation CDs or EFT CDs. You can also put these on if you wake up during the night. Meditation can be an awesome strategy to avoid overreacting to stress and anxiety.