Have you heard about night eating syndrome? Here are some signs, some facts, and some things you can do about it.
Not feeling hungry in the morning
Waking at night and eating
Finding it hard to fall asleep
Overeating in the evening
These are just some of the signs of a night eating syndrome.
Night eaters eat about 30% of their total daily calories after
dinner compared to normal eaters who eat less than 10% of their
calories after dinner.
Night Eaters don' t have to be overweight. Their weight can be
normal. But on average about a third of overweight people have night
eating syndrome. You can become overweight when you establish a pattern
of night eating.
Night eating can be a problem for men as well as women. Night eaters
can suffer from excessive sleepiness during the day because of their
disrupted nighttime sleep pattern.
OK. So how can you take the bull by the horns if you are a night eater? Here are some ways.
See what makes you vulnerable to night eating. Is it boredom,
loneliness, anxieties, worries about the night (e.g., not being able to
sleep), bad mood, or something else? This is the first step that you
can take: raise your awareness.
See what changes you can make to your vulnerability. For instance,
can you take steps to reduce those thoughts and feelings that are
affecting you? Can you take steps that are more directly connected with
these disruptive thoughts and feelings, and not use eating and food to
See what changes you can make directly to your night eating
behavior itself. Will it change, for example, if you begin to shift
more calories to daytime eating? Can you try not to eat after a certain
time in the evening and tough out the emotional and physical
consequences? (You might even use a subjective rating scale from 0 to
10 to measure the amount of distress you are experiencing from going
If you are and even if you aren' t a night eater, what insight and what strategies would you recommend to help break the night eating syndrome?