Sleep Eating

by Dr. Carol Solomon

Sleep eating can be considered a special form of night eating syndrome. Despite Tina Fey’s depiction of sleep eating, for people who suffer from sleep eating, it is anything but funny. Sleep eaters tend to prefer foods very high in sugar and fat, contributing to obesity, heart disease and night eating.

Some sleep eaters eat items that are not even food! Most sleep eaters have little or no memory of sleep eating activity.

Sleep eating disorders are more common in people who had sleep walking as children and tend to run in families. Sleep eaters tend to be very tired during the day, since their sleep is disturbed at night. Being sleep deprived may make you want to eat even more than usual, according to new research.

When scientists compared people allowed to sleep as much as they wished with those who slept just two-thirds of their normal time, they found that sleep deprivation was linked to eating more calories. No surprise here! Sleep deprivation and fatigue drives appetite, as people tend to reach for more food to increase energy.

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