The Truth About Nighttime Eating

Could you be waking up and eating at night, and not remember it?

Q: I’ve been waking up with cookie crumbs in my pajamas and a mess in my kitchen. I think I’m getting up and eating at night, but I don’t remember any of it. Is this possible?

A: Yes, it is possible and more common than you might think. There are several different reasons why this happens. If you are on a very restrictive weight–loss diet, your body may be doing what comes naturally — seeking food it desperately wants. If this sounds like you, I recommend eating one of my best bedtime snacks to make sure you don’t get hungry in the middle of the night.

Or maybe you’re eating enough during the day but “overly preoccupied” with food, even while you sleep. I’ve had some clients who were forced to put padlocks on the kitchen cabinets and leave notes around the house reminding them to “Wake up” and “Do not eat!” In this case, I also recommend that you see a psychologist or psychiatrist; many times "sleep eating" is a sign of an eating disorder of some sort. It’s always better to have these kinds of extreme behaviors checked out by a professional.


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