ACPN | UAE ACPN | UAE

800-[ACPN]2276

Night Eating Syndrome

What is Night Eating Syndrome? Most of us have had the urge to grab a bite to eat in the middle of the night when we can’t sleep, feel worried or just have after-dinner hunger pangs. But when eating in the middle of the night gets out of control, your health may be in danger. Consistently consuming most of your calories between the dinner hour and breakfast time is a warning sign of night eating syndrome, or nocturnal eating syndrome (NES). NES is a serious eating disorder that has been linked with depression, stress, hormonal imbalances and abnormal sleep patterns.

What are the symptoms of Night Eating Syndrome?

How do you know when you’ve crossed the line between after-dark snacking and disordered eating habits? Night eating syndrome is associated with a number of unhealthy behaviors, including:

  • Eating very little during the daylight hours
  • Consuming most of your calories in the evening or at night
  • Waking in the middle of the night to binge eat
  • Losing sleep because of late-night eating habits
  • People with NES may have difficulty getting to sleep or falling asleep. They overeat partly to be able to fall asleep. They may eat during episodes of insomnia but they are always awake during their binges.

Health Risks and Complications

NES is a serious eating disorder that can have a negative impact on your diet and your sleeping patterns. Many of those who struggle with this syndrome become overweight or obese as a result of their late-night eating habits, according to Obesity Reviews. Obesity can lead to a number of severe, chronic health complications.

Getting up to eat interrupts your sleep, which could affect your mood, memory and cognitive performance. The loss of sleep can interfere with concentration, increase your risk of accidental injury, and contribute to depression or anxiety disorders. . If you’ve been eating in the middle of the night for more than a week or two, your eating patterns should be evaluated by an eating disorders specialist.

Who gets it?

Night-eating syndrome is believed to occur in 10% of obese people seeking treatment for their obesity, which means about 10 million people may be affected. It also does occur among people of normal weight, although less frequently.

What Causes Night Eating Syndrome?

The specific causes of NES are still under investigation. Both sleep disorders and eating disorders are often related to stress, anxiety and depression, which may interfere with rest and trigger emotional eating. Night eating syndrome has been connected with low levels of the hormones that affect sleep, mood and appetite (melatonin, cortisol, leptin and ghrelin). These hormones help regulate the desire to rest and consume food. People with NES often experience increasing depression and anxiety during the day, which corresponds with their compulsion to overeat. They often crave carbohydrate-rich foods, which may help them feel calmer and more relaxed, at least temporarily.

How to Recover from NES?

Recovering from NES requires a comprehensive approach that encompasses your physical cravings for food, your disrupted sleep habits and the emotional roots of your disorder. A treatment plan for NES includes a specialized multi-disciplinary team. The team can help you at a second stage get back to a normal body weight if you’ve gained weight as a result of NES. With proper treatment, a full and lasting recovery is possible. The ACPN has the only specialized program in the U.A.E. dedicated to the treatment of eating disorders, like Night-Eating Syndrome.

Multi Disciplinary Team

Carine el Khazen Hadati
Carine el Khazen Hadati

Clinical Psychologist, Director of ED Program

Dubai

View Clinician
Maya Fleifel Sidani
Maya Fleifel Sidani

Clinical Psychologist

Dubai

View Clinician
Hala Abu Taha
Hala Abu Taha

Dietitian

Abu Dhabi and Dubai

View Clinician
Dr. George Sawers
Dr. George Sawers

General Practitioner

Abu Dhabi

View Clinician
Dr. Najwan Al-Roubaiy
Dr. Najwan Al-Roubaiy

Psychologist, Acting Head of Psychology Team - Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi

View Clinician
Dr. Junaid Hassim
Dr. Junaid Hassim

Clinical Psychologist

Abu Dhabi

View Clinician
Dr. Samra Tahir
Dr. Samra Tahir

Clinical Psychologist

Abu Dhabi

View Clinician
Dr. Samer Makhoul
Dr. Samer Makhoul

Consultant Psychiatrist, Head of Psychiatry Department

Dubai and Abu Dhabi

View Clinician
Dr. Nasser El Hindy
Dr. Nasser El Hindy

Consultant Psychiatrist, Medical Director

Dubai

View Clinician
Make an appointment

For better website experience please use modern browsers like Chrome, FF or IE10+

Ok

For better web experience, please use the website in portrait mode