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Users comments and reviews on article Night Eating Syndrome by SirGan

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Hey there!

If like me, you've stumbled onto this page in your attempt to find out what's "wrong" with you - You are not alone! I have just recently discovered that I am not unique in my eating and sleeping patterns, and am so relieved to find information that suggests I may finally be able to start solving the problem I've had since I was a kid.

I am writing this particular comment, however, to clear up an important point that the author of this page seems to be potentially confusing. (If the author happens to read this, my apologies. I simply want to make sure everyone has the best information possible about this nearly-unknown condition.)

The discrepancy I mention here is that not everyone with Night Eating Syndrome sleepwalks, and that sufferers do not necessarily eat while totally unconscious, or for that matter eat inedible things.

The following is from Wikipedia, admittedly not an authoritative source, but there is more information out there that backs this up:

"According to doctors and psychiatrists including Dr. J. Winkelman; Dr. Robert Auger, a practicing psychiatrist at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota; Dr. Carlos H. Schenck, an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Minnesota Medical school; and Dr. Mark W. Mahowald, an Assistant Professors of Neurology at the University of Minnesota Medical school, NSRED is closely related to Night Eating Syndrome (NES) except for the fact that those suffering from NES are completely awake and aware of their eating and binging at night while those suffering from NSRED are sleeping and unaware of what they are doing.

NES is primarily considered an eating disorder while NSRED is primarily considered a parasomnia; however, both are a combination of parasomnia and eating disorders since those suffering from NES usually have insomnia or difficulty sleeping and those suffering from NSRED experience symptoms similar to binge eating.

In his article Sleep-Related Eating Disorder and Night Eating Syndrome: Sleep Disorders, Eating Disorders, Or both, Dr. J Winkelman said, “Both [disorders] involve nearly nightly binging at multiple nocturnal awakenings, defined as excess calorie intake or loss of control over consumption.”[5] However, “The most prominent cited distinction between NES and SRED is the level of consciousness during nighttime eating episodes.”[6] Therefore, these two disorders are extremely similar with only one distinction between them.

This information provided by Dr. Winkelman shows how doctors and psychologists have difficulty differentiating between NES and NSRED, but the distinction of a person’s level of consciousness is what doctors chiefly rely on to make a diagnosis. One mistake that is often made is the misdiagnosis of NSRED for NES[7]. However, even though NSRED is not a commonly known and diagnosed disease, many people suffer from it in many differing ways while doctors work to find a treatment that works for everyone."


I feel it's important to make this distinction, because many sufferers like myself are likely to just feel like they are lazy, undisciplined, "bad," etc. if they are conscious of what they are doing but seemingly unable to stop. You may just have NES, not NSRED - and there's a distinct difference there.

So if you're one of the few, dealing with your guilt, hiding it from friends, and hating yourself for it, realize that you are not alone. And there are ways of diagnosing this condition, and most importantly, ways of treating it. I'm no doctor, and I won't tell you what to do, but just do a few searches for Night Eating Disorder, and you'll be amazed at what you learn.

Don't give up!

-Chris K
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Hi there CHris, I am totally in the same boat with you and I really appreciate that you're posting on this. I don't think that people know about it but I do eat at night and I love to because I don't like to eat in front of people. Thank you for the support.
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I am so glad I stumbled on this site, I now realise I have had NES for the last 26 years since being pregnant with twins. It has become a bit of a joke with family members that I get up to eat of a night much to my shame. Often I woke up of a morning and was unsure if I had been down to raid the sweet drawer during the night, one way I have learnt to tell the answer to this question was if I felt my teeth needed cleaning I was 99% sure I had been munching on chocolate during the night. I feel that the discovery of my condition will now allow me to address the problem and eventually loose some weight
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I have had this problem for 15 years now. I get so upset with myself because I can't control it. It's like I have to do it or I will get very anxious and will not be able to sleep. I am so glad to see that I am not alone. I've talked with my doctor and he thinks it's just a habit. It's more than a habit because habits can be broken but this is to hard to break. I need help but finding it seems impossible.
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