It is estimated that one to three percent of the population may be suffering from Night Eating Syndrome (NES), a condition first described in 1955 but only recognized by the general community since 1999. The condition appears to be more common in women. According to an article posted on the American Sleep Association web site, about half of those diagnosed with NES reported a normal weight status before the onset of the syndrome. The abstract also noted that as your weight increases so do your changes for developing the syndrome.
NES occurs when normal patterns of energy intake and sleep become disturbed and is characterized by the following clinical features for a duration of > 3 months:
Triggers for this condition include anxiety, depression, prolonged dieting with poor outcome (dieting all day), stress, boredom and body image dissatisfaction. Since eating the majority of calorie needs too close to bedtime might enhance the efficiency with which fat is stored, NES may contribute to later development of obesity.
Below are just a few statements to consider when diagnosing:*
*this is not an all inclusive list
If any of the above comments sound familiar to you or you think you may have an issue with NES, make sure to discuss it with your physician. The recognition of NES is the first step in treating this disorder.