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Get Some Sleep: Do you eat in your sleep?
March 8th, 2011
05:22 PM ET

Get Some Sleep: Do you eat in your sleep?

Lisa Shives, M.D., is the founder of Northshore Sleep Medicine in Evanston, Illinois. She blogs on Tuesdays on The Chart. Read more from her at Dr. Lisa Shives’ Sleep Better Blog.

For Leslie, it all started around menopause:  the fatigue, the weight gain and the eating in the middle of the night.  Sometimes she would have absolutely no memory of getting up to eat, but would find a mess in the kitchen.  Other times, she would feel half-awake but out of control and compelled to get out of bed and find food.

I had a strong suspicion that Leslie had a parasomnia that we call sleep-related eating disorder.  The key features are:  1. Nocturnal eating while asleep or half-asleep and therefore there is no or little recall of the events but there is evidence of eating or there are witnesses. 2. Bizarre and sometimes dangerous things are consumed. 3. Elaborate food preparation often takes place but in a careless, sloppy manner 4. There are often underlying eating disorders and/or a primary sleep disorder.  As she continued her story, I became more convinced that indeed Leslie had this disorder.

At first, the episodes occurred perhaps once a week, then it was more frequent and now it was nearly every night.  At first, the things that she was eating were pretty normal but rarely very healthy.  Carbs, fat and the occasional protein.

She was alarmed by the time that she made a baked potato in the middle of the night.  “Do you know how long it takes to bake a potato!  It scares me that the episodes last that long and also the reason I know that I baked it in the oven, rather than microwaving it, is because the oven was still on in the morning.”

Then the things that she was eating got a bit bizarre. For example, one time, her husband found her trying to eat a frozen veggie burger.  But what brought her to the sleep center was the episode where she found an open, half-eaten can of cat food and she was not sure if she had really fed it to her cat.

As of yet, there is not a lot of research on this disorder.  Prevalence rates are estimated to be approximately 4% of young adults which is not an insignificant number.  The prevalence rates are even higher among people with eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa.

Typically, people are in their 20s or 30s when they present with this complaint, but the fact that Leslie was in her early 50s and just going through menopause was a clue that she might have an underlying sleep disorder such as obstructive sleep apnea, which often appears or becomes worse when women go through menopause because the loss of estrogen means the muscles in the throat are not as toned as they once were.

Accordingly, the diagnostic workup should include a thorough evaluation for another underlying eating or sleep disorder.  An overnight sleep study is usually performed and the person is asked to keep a sleep diary for two to four weeks to document what he or she recalls and what evidence there is of their nocturnal eating.

This disorder should be distinguished from night-eating syndrome,  which involves excessive eating between the evening meal and bedtime.  This disorder is characterized by complete nocturnal awakenings and fully conscious eating in the middle of the night.  No bizarre foods are consumed and the eating behavior/food preparation is not sloppier than usual.  In this disorder, it is less likely that the patients have an underlying sleep disorder and more likely that they have longstanding issues with food and weight gain.

That brings us to some of the health consequences of sleep-related eating disorder and night-eating syndrome.  People can gain a lot of weight and sometimes over a short period of time.  They can develop type 2 diabetes and high cholesterol and it can be difficult to manage these disorders with the usual medications if people are consuming excessive, empty calories in the middle of the night.  In sleep-related eating disorder, people can ingest toxic substances.  They can also leave the stove on, thereby endangering themselves and their loved ones.  Patients can have problems in their relationships because they are waking up their bed partners.  Some patients even bring food back to bed, so even if it wouldn’t bother you if your spouse got up every night, few of us would want to wake up to find our spouse in the bed pulling apart a greasy chicken and throwing the carcass under the covers. Finally, patients are very psychologically disturbed by how out of control they feel.

There is not much research on what treatments might help these patients.  Of course we treat the underlying eating or sleep disorder. If there is none or that approach does not resolves the symptoms, then we try medications such as topiramate or zonisamide, which are anti-convulsants.  Other medications that have been given with some success are dopaminergic agents, benzodiazepines such as Clonazepam and opiates.  With Leslie we lucked out; she did indeed have severe sleep apnea and when we treated it all her nocturnal eating stopped.

The information contained on this page does not and is not intended to convey medical advice. CNN is not responsible for any actions or inaction on your part based on the information that is presented here. Please consult a physician or medical professional for personal medical advice or treatment.

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Filed under: Sleep

soundoff (95 Responses)
  1. sharon reid

    That is not good if my man whant to let him go

    March 8, 2011 at 18:07 | Report abuse | Reply
    • giovanni

      huh?!?

      March 8, 2011 at 18:47 | Report abuse |
    • Torradas

      What does that even mean?

      March 9, 2011 at 10:59 | Report abuse |
    • jonathan

      are you sleep right now???

      March 9, 2011 at 13:22 | Report abuse |
    • Melissa

      WHAT ARE YOU EVEN TRYING TO SAY?

      March 9, 2011 at 13:26 | Report abuse |
  2. Sleep

    This is such a bizarre series to me. How many different "sleep disorders" are they going to highlight and dramatize. Sleepwalking, sleep talking, now sleep eating. Seems we've hit the end of the list. I'm curious to see where this goes from here. No matter what the diagnosis, seems the medication they prescribe is the same. Unfortunately prescribing benzos for sleep issues is like killing a fly with a grenade.

    March 8, 2011 at 18:17 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Daina

      Had I not experienced EVERY sleep disorder there is EXCEPT this one when I was young I would not have known there were so many; hit the jackpot. nightmares, night terrors, sleep-walking, sleep talking and my personal favorite! Sleep paralysis (a hell you need experience to appreciate, you awake but remain in total paralysis for a couple of minutes, you can see, hear etc...everything but can't move a muscle; want to scream but can't make a sound as vocal cord muscles are affected. I thought I was nuts when this 1st happened @ age 12 so went ti library & looked up sleep disorders.) So happy the only remaining sleep disorder is having to get up too early for work...I sleep like the dead with an uncluttered mind.

      March 9, 2011 at 01:19 | Report abuse |
    • Daina

      And since I never got hit with this one I am very thin!

      March 9, 2011 at 01:20 | Report abuse |
    • Elle

      I'm 26 years old and I've suffered on and off again from this since I was 13. I just want all of you who know nothing about this and are making assumptions and accusations about how this is really just a way for fat and greedy people to scapegoat their behavior that people like you and the false assumptions you make are the reason why people who suffer from this suffer in silence for decades. If you're not a doctor, if you've never dealt with this sort of problem- good for you. But offering uneducated and cruel assumptions about a disorder people are ashamed of having without your help is wrong. Dedication is not my problem, in fact I've been dieting most of my life just to offset the sleep eating. The feelings of shame in the morning for a person who has this are bad enough, we don't need your judgement. I've been working out and dieting in order to drop weight I gained during pregnancy and this has made a significant loss impossible. Finally I've begun to realize this is not my fault and I can't fix it on my own. I'm going to see the doctor next week. To those of you who suffer from this-don't blame yourself and don't be ashamed to get help.

      March 9, 2011 at 09:35 | Report abuse |
    • Sean

      @Elle... uh huh

      And everyone has Autism and PTSD also... This is just another over dramatized excuse.

      March 9, 2011 at 09:50 | Report abuse |
    • Phage0070

      The next sleep disorder is sleep-careers. These poor sufferers get up in the middle of the night for years at a time, taking night classes at local colleges or even correspondence courses. They then apply to and receive jobs in that field, working sometimes for many more years before they suddenly awake halfway through a triple-heart-bypass surgery procedure, or while guiding a passenger jet in to land as an air traffic controller.

      March 9, 2011 at 11:28 | Report abuse |
    • KLM

      @Sean; you di not really just use Autism as an example of over-dramafication did you?
      Autism is real it's effects can range from mild to highly severe. Why would you use this as an example.
      It is a medically defined condition, not some Hypochondriac's: fertile imagination. As for sleep disorders,
      there are many, again ranging from mild to severe. If you doubt the seriousness of them, try the following:
      Set you smart phone to wake you every 2 hours, do nothing go right back to sleep, repeat this for a week,
      then tell me how you feel. For most suffering from a true sleep disorder, this is child's play, as the occurrence
      is usually every hour in some severe cases every half hour os

      March 9, 2011 at 12:34 | Report abuse |
    • Sean

      @KLM

      First: Starting a sentence with: “you di not really just use” It is very hard to take you seriously.

      Second: There is no such word as: dramafication

      Third: Nowhere in my statement does it imply Autism is “some Hypochondriac's: fertile imagination”. The fact that you jump to the conclusion implies you doubt the validity of this new “disorder”.

      The point, since it clearly has escaped your keen mind is: Doctors are human and subject to trends like most people. The last couple of years every child with hiccup had Autism. Doctors were/are overly diagnosing cases by up to 40%. ( according to the last article I read ). Now every person that feels sad has PTSD. In short people are always looking for something, someone else to blame.

      March 9, 2011 at 13:49 | Report abuse |
    • KLM

      @Sean;
      First off I misspelled a word in a post, Big Deal. Second while I will agree with you that doctors tend to follow trends and it is good to question any trend or any diagnosis for that matter; You however were not responding to the article you were responding to Elle's post which for all either of us knows is description of something real that she suffers from. Finally your statement "And everyone has Autism and PTSD also... This is just another over dramatized excuse." does imply that Austism and PTSD are excuses just as parasomnia is an excuse. While I might agree with you that PTSD and many others are over used and even incorrectly diagnosed, as it seems today there must be a diagnosis for everything even if it is incorrect. It is wrong to automatically assume that everyone who reports these symptoms is looking for an excuse.

      March 9, 2011 at 14:56 | Report abuse |
    • Palash

      I think the medical fraternity and the world of remedies and therapies have got it wrong. I think its high time living healthfully is brough to center stage through the most optimum health foods, fruits and vegetables.

      Look at this mans work and website

      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q8V3R4RLKQ8&w=640&h=390]

      http://www.foodnsport.com

      April 1, 2011 at 12:52 | Report abuse |
    • cmebe

      Hey guys!

      I am an editorial producer for the Anderson Cooper Live show based in New York. We are looking on doing a segment on night eating to educate the public at large about this condition. You guys are NOT alone! I would love to speak to any of you guys interested in possibly being a guest on our show in hopes to encourage people with this condition to get help. If any of you guys are interested in hearing details about our show, please email me on my personal email: Christiembear@gmail.com

      Thanks!

      January 10, 2013 at 15:59 | Report abuse |
  3. zumajim

    So that's what happened to my teddy bear.

    March 8, 2011 at 19:27 | Report abuse | Reply
    • dorfnob!!!!!!!!

      i eat my dog when i had this happened to me. i didnt finish him when i was alseep but he tasted good so i finished him when i woke up

      March 9, 2011 at 11:20 | Report abuse |
  4. UFC iTard

    lulz only in America. Fat people on drugs!

    March 8, 2011 at 20:00 | Report abuse | Reply
    • wut

      i feel like this particular disorder has very little to do with America

      March 8, 2011 at 20:16 | Report abuse |
  5. nicole

    my mother is in her mid 50s and does this, but she also smokes or rather pretends to smoke and does other things like that and doesnt recall any of it. she doesnt believe it when we tell her either.

    March 8, 2011 at 20:58 | Report abuse | Reply
    • jonathan

      My ex did that..she would eat at night and then beat herself up the next day.. :)

      she would then talk about how fat she's getting..drove me to the corner of the rooftop ...then to divorce...good for us.. :)

      March 9, 2011 at 13:26 | Report abuse |
    • cmebe

      Hey guys!

      I am an editorial producer for the Anderson Cooper Live show based in New York. We are looking on doing a segment on night eating to educate the public at large about this condition. You guys are NOT alone! I would love to speak to any of you guys interested in possibly being a guest on our show in hopes to encourage people with this condition to get help. If any of you guys are interested in hearing details about our show, please email me on my personal email: Christiembear@gmail.com

      Thanks!

      January 10, 2013 at 16:00 | Report abuse |
  6. oxrlyxnao

    Something else? Brain problems?

    March 8, 2011 at 21:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Swedish1

    You mean this could be a serious condition, like for real?!? I've been doing this for years, & thought that I was just skinny and hungry!

    March 8, 2011 at 23:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. dudeyouguys

    Sounds like a great way to save time!

    March 8, 2011 at 23:36 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Mary Koepke Fields

      Sure does. .. .Multi-tasking for sure!

      March 9, 2011 at 10:57 | Report abuse |
  9. J

    This disorder may sound weird, but it's real. I used to have this problem in my 20s – I'd often be in a weird state in between sleep and wakefulness, and my episodes were like a movie I was watching but helpless to control. Other times I'd wake up to find food wrappers in my bed with no memory of an episode. After moving in with a partner, it stopped on its own – I guess I felt calmer at night. I never sought medication for it because I'm afraid of the Ambien walrus! My point, though, especially to people who think sleep disorders aren't real, is that in my experience this one is quite real.

    March 8, 2011 at 23:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Tammy

    Maybe its something to do with her hormones or thyroid since it just began in menopause. Or maybe its a side effect from a menopause med shes taking. Ssri or osteoporosis pill or synthetic hormones. Why does it always have to be a disorder and more meds prescribed? Eww cat food lol id be locking bedroom door at night til dr figured it out!

    March 8, 2011 at 23:45 | Report abuse | Reply
    • T

      Yeah, you're obviously an expert. You clearly know everything about the details of these cases and must therefore be better qualified to treat these problems THAN A F***ING DOCTOR.

      Come on. People like you are why doctors can't even do their job anymore

      March 8, 2011 at 23:58 | Report abuse |
  11. Debbie

    I did this before when I was trying desparately to be skinny thus starving myself and waking up in the middle of the night eating. I think it was my body protesting about being starved. Our society is food obsessed. We are either too fat or throwing up in the batheroom or trying to starve ourselves. Why is eating three healthly meals a day so hard?

    March 9, 2011 at 00:10 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Daina

      Nowhere is it written that 3 meals a day are a biological necessity; most are fat because they have a stomach stretched beyond normal capacity by 3 large meals; you can graze on a small amount of food 3 times that much in a day & be skinny...well, I can; good thing since my job is phsyically demanding and has no real set breaks so I graze when I can.

      March 9, 2011 at 01:40 | Report abuse |
    • Sal

      How about turning 'Glee' off and going for a run or possibly riding a bike? Maybe all 3 meals don't have to be eaten at the Sizzler?

      March 9, 2011 at 01:43 | Report abuse |
  12. Sal

    When will people just finally admit they are morbidly obese because they lack self-control?

    March 9, 2011 at 00:22 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Tree

      I think you want to simplify the issue, so you don't have to really think about what others' lives are like nor how you could help them. Do you really think people who are addicted to food don't know it or admit it to themselves? It's much much more complicated than "finding self control." It is like any addiction and takes many types of work (emotional, spiritial, physical) and usually professional help to really overcome. Look at how some people can't even quit smoking cigarettes, and that's not something you have to do to survive. I imagine it's even more difficult to resolve an addiction to something you need in small amounts to survive!

      March 9, 2011 at 04:20 | Report abuse |
    • Robert

      Ignorant.

      March 9, 2011 at 10:17 | Report abuse |
    • Sean

      @Sal
      They won’t because it would mean being held accountable for their actions. It’s always someone or something else’s fault.

      @Tree
      As soon as you used ‘spiritual” you lost all credibility

      March 9, 2011 at 10:21 | Report abuse |
    • Rebecca

      Maybe you did not understand the article, how can you control what you are doing while you are ASLEEP? And how did we get onto the subject of self control and obesity? I know weight gain is mentioned in the article as a result of this "disorder" but I have yet to see any evidence (in THIS article) of anyone using it as an excuse for obesity. I am a 20 year old female and I weigh 120 lbs and I have dealt with this "issue" for years. I wake up with food crumbs and wrappers in my bed at least twice a week, and have not memory of what or when I ate. The only way I have avoided becoming obese is by eating less during the day and keeping bad food out of the house. While I agree that far to many things are now considered "disorders", and doctors are much too perscription happy, I do not understand why you feel it necessary to start critisizing peoples actions based on assumptions? I hope that one night this happens to you, try CONTROLING yourself then!

      March 21, 2011 at 21:37 | Report abuse |
  13. LuckyDuck

    Sometimes I wake up to find myself sleeping.

    March 9, 2011 at 01:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Smitty

    Only in America.

    March 9, 2011 at 02:44 | Report abuse | Reply
    • dorfnob!!!!!!!!

      how daer you call your self smitty when im the one and only mitty in the world!!!!!

      March 9, 2011 at 11:23 | Report abuse |
  15. stoney

    I have this disorder. I wake up every morning to find pj on the side of my face

    March 9, 2011 at 03:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Sharon King

    UH, hey this really happens. I have it and it comes and goes. I woke up with a half-eaten can of kindey beans in bed with me. I got up and sleptwalk to the kitchen and started fixing a chicken–put it in the microwave cellophane and box and all. My mother happened to be over and she caught me doing it. She also noted that one night I went to the microwave and popped some popcorn but was getting ready to spray DW-40 on it. (Moved all stuff like that out of the kitchen!). One night I made myself some corn on the cob and drug it back to bed–was sitting there in the dark in a half-awake stupor eating the ear when I noticed something else was tugging on the other side–my cat–who loved corn. Gave me quite a surprise. Started this in my 40s and have done it off and on for 20 years. I had a sleep study and they saw no problem with sleep apnea but they said I was getting no REM sleep.that they could discern. However, the study was done when most people sleep but normally I sleep from about 2 till 10 so that may have skewed the results.

    March 9, 2011 at 03:12 | Report abuse | Reply
    • cmebe

      Hey guys!

      I am an editorial producer for the Anderson Cooper Live show based in New York. We are looking on doing a segment on night eating to educate the public at large about this condition. You guys are NOT alone! I would love to speak to any of you guys interested in possibly being a guest on our show in hopes to encourage people with this condition to get help. If any of you guys are interested in hearing details about our show, please email me on my personal email: Christiembear@gmail.com

      Thanks!

      January 10, 2013 at 16:00 | Report abuse |
  17. helenecha

    Here is a prescription: Keep working at night and sleeping at day.

    March 9, 2011 at 03:21 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Phage0070

      So you think its the "night" that is making them eat and not the "being asleep" part? Ok....

      March 9, 2011 at 11:33 | Report abuse |
  18. W

    Ambient caused this problem with me.

    March 9, 2011 at 03:25 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Phage0070

      Ambient what?

      March 9, 2011 at 11:34 | Report abuse |
  19. lauraby

    My roomate in college told me I woke up and make an omlete in the middle of the night, ate it & went back to sleep. I didn't recall any of it the next day. I'd been sleep walking & talking at that point for years. I tried to make a hamburger while sleep walking when I was 15 because I was dreaming that I was working at McDonalds (I was at the time). No other episodes with sleep cooking/eating that I know of. And I was very physically fit back then and still am. I'm not a cow. Only explanation I have is stress for what it's worth.

    March 9, 2011 at 03:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Krohzar

    "What was she doing with a shrimp fork in her purse?" -Charlie Sheen

    March 9, 2011 at 03:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. aholio

    That's a good woman. Even in your sleep you belong in the kitchen.

    March 9, 2011 at 03:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. lauraby

    Oh crap. Remembered another time I woke up with an open bottle of Tylenol in bed (pills all over the bed). Dunno if I took any. Had a headache but decided better not take any since unsure if I'd taken any in my sleep. Rats....was a Costco size bottle too. Maybe better lock the med cabinet.

    March 9, 2011 at 03:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. lauraby

    haha aholio. your funny.

    March 9, 2011 at 03:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. TOTENKOPF

    I rule countries with an iron fist in my sleep. So far no need to clean up as my henchmen are well trained and thorough.

    March 9, 2011 at 05:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. soodivine

    I NEED HELP! I have been waking up every night for as long as I can remember and eating all during the night even if its at 3am and yes I have to watch tv while I'm doing it!!! I can't seem to stay asleep all night. I also worked night shift jobs as well. I NEED HELP. Any suggestions. I am open for any.

    March 9, 2011 at 06:11 | Report abuse | Reply
    • AndyAtlanta

      Tell your doctor to try Topamax with you since I tried everything. I have always eaten since I was a child and this medication was the only aproach that worked. The dosage that worked for me was 400 mg Once daily. Email me and i will tell you more condebosch@gmail.com

      March 9, 2011 at 09:30 | Report abuse |
    • cmebe

      Hey guys!

      I am an editorial producer for the Anderson Cooper Live show based in New York. We are looking on doing a segment on night eating to educate the public at large about this condition. You guys are NOT alone! I would love to speak to any of you guys interested in possibly being a guest on our show in hopes to encourage people with this condition to get help. If any of you guys are interested in hearing details about our show, please email me on my personal email: Christiembear@gmail.com

      Thanks!

      January 10, 2013 at 16:00 | Report abuse |
  26. Jason

    I’m a male that has done this for 20 years and it occurs at least 5 times a week. Like the article said sometimes you are half awake and other times you find ‘clues’ like a bed full of dry cereal or food left out in the kitchen. This is the 1st article I’ve ever seen about sleep eating. By the way, it isn’t about fat Americans. I’m 5ft 9 and weigh 145 pounds.

    March 9, 2011 at 06:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Justme

    I knew a woman once who said that her husband would only make love to her in the middle of the night, when he was sleeping. The next day he would not remember anything.

    March 9, 2011 at 07:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Erica

    Seems more fundamentally relevant to obesity or other weight management issues rather than a sleeping disorder. Has similar traits to when i would find myself highly intoxicated the night before. Thank god i dont drink anymore as was very scary to find the oven on and potentially dangerous uncooked or highly saturated fatt foods lying around the next morning. Three meals a day isnt necessary always if you eat a lot of healthy snacks. I find one meal high in carbs close to bedtime lasts me through till the following afternoon (though i wouldnt recommend this to anyone with weight or low energy issues it works for me)

    March 9, 2011 at 07:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Jack

    Yet another reason that fat slobs can use to explain why they're over weight... "its not the Junk Food its a sleeping disorder" give me a break

    March 9, 2011 at 08:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. DUHHH

    My old roommate used to do this, but she ate all of my food instead of hers. She was as skinny as a starved child in Africa.....blame it on a hormonal issue??? NO, the problem is simple....stop being bulimic and anorexic, and you wont need to shove food in your face when no one else is looking.

    March 9, 2011 at 09:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. AndyAtlanta

    I got night eating syndrome and it amazes me the lack of compassion of some of these people that write. For me it became a major problem. I remember what I ate. I would wake up and had to go grab something to eat or I would not be able to go back to sleep. I got so bad that at one point I was waking up four to five times every night. I needed about 9 hours to be able to feel somewhat rested. I had to workout at the gym and do excessive cardiovascular workout to avoid gaining excessive weight. Eventually I decided to seek help. I went to doctor and they put me on Topamax, an anti epileptic medication that for some reason help some patients curb their cravings. I must say that after a few months of finding the right dosage and handling the side effects I have gotten to the point I don't wake up at night to eat. After decades of waking up at night that has had so many positive changes in my life. I sleep about 7 hours now and feel fully rested, my eating habits have improved dramatically, and I don't wake up my partner among others. So just because you don't have an illness don't think assume everyone else will not suffer it. Be grateful for your health. Peace.

    March 9, 2011 at 09:26 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Elle

      "I got night eating syndrome and it amazes me the lack of compassion of some of these people that write. For me it became a major problem. I remember what I ate. I would wake up and had to go grab something to eat or I would not be able to go back to sleep. I got so bad that at one point I was waking up four to five times every night. I needed about 9 hours to be able to feel somewhat rested. I had to workout at the gym and do excessive cardiovascular workout to avoid gaining excessive weight."
      Well said! I'm going to the doctor soon, hopefully I can get over this problem too:)

      March 9, 2011 at 09:44 | Report abuse |
    • cmebe

      Hey guys!

      I am an editorial producer for the Anderson Cooper Live show based in New York. We are looking on doing a segment on night eating to educate the public at large about this condition. You guys are NOT alone! I would love to speak to any of you guys interested in possibly being a guest on our show in hopes to encourage people with this condition to get help. If any of you guys are interested in hearing details about our show, please email me on my personal email: Christiembear@gmail.com

      Thanks!

      January 10, 2013 at 16:01 | Report abuse |
  32. pamik

    I usually get up @ 3:00 am to smoke a cigarette. I feel compelled to get out of bed, get dressed and go to our family room to smoke. I scare myself thinking "am I really awake or just dreaming this" Just a bad as eating and way more dangerous being only 1/2 awake

    March 9, 2011 at 09:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Frankie D

    Hey its true Im 50 and skinny and have been eating in my sleep for years peanut butter (jiffy) and toast with milk. Some times I even cook a steak. sometimes I think I remember most often not my wife thinks its funny she never know what she gonna find. God Bless to all

    March 9, 2011 at 10:15 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jack

      Franky D your disgusting... one day you might choke on that crap or burn your house down as you are half asleep at the time... you are not an intelligent man.. neither is your husband

      March 9, 2011 at 13:20 | Report abuse |
  34. Don_J

    ...real food or dream food?

    March 9, 2011 at 10:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. SleepWithaSleeper

    So, is there a sleep disorder where women get an enormous urge to have relations while sleeping? I want to meet one of those women...

    March 9, 2011 at 10:44 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Deb

      Ha, ha, that's funny.

      March 9, 2011 at 13:13 | Report abuse |
    • Jack

      thats the only chance you'll ever have.. go back to sleep

      March 9, 2011 at 13:24 | Report abuse |
  36. mooky

    Huh? Treated her? With what? Is the treatment ongoing? Is she getting the opiates? Is she not eating at night because she is drugged? Did they operate to address the apnea? What what what?

    March 9, 2011 at 11:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Steve

    CNN once again with that hard hitting news. What a joke network.

    March 9, 2011 at 11:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. dorfnob!!!!!!!!

    the purple applez have secret power inside them.

    March 9, 2011 at 11:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Forrest

    I have this too. I have struggled for years. I am not "skinny" but i'm not obese either. I do have to do massive cardio to keep from gaining weight. Those who think this is a JOKE, it isn't. It's real and it sucks.

    March 9, 2011 at 11:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Purple Nurple

    Couldn't you just put locks on your fridge, cabinets, and drawers to prevent yourself from getting at the food? Wouldn't your mind subconsiously give up if they can't reach what it wants?

    March 9, 2011 at 11:36 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Leslie

      Nope. Unfortunately, they are Compelled to eat. And if they cant easily get to the food, they will do what it takes (wander out of the house, or eat garbage, pet food or other inedible items).

      March 9, 2011 at 19:06 | Report abuse |
    • Meadow

      This is exactly what I was looking for. Thanks for writnig!

      July 1, 2011 at 20:46 | Report abuse |
    • Hasmei

      The heart of your writing while sonindug reasonable in the beginning, did not really settle perfectly with me after some time. Someplace throughout the paragraphs you managed to make me a believer but only for a very short while. I still have got a problem with your jumps in assumptions and you might do well to fill in those gaps. In the event you can accomplish that, I will undoubtedly end up being impressed.

      July 1, 2012 at 19:12 | Report abuse |
  41. Ingrid

    OMG!!! i am like Leslie.... except for that i have been doing this since my early twenties....unfortunately i live in Florida...will save this article.

    March 9, 2011 at 11:51 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jason

      I agree 100% – so am I (except I'm a guy)

      March 9, 2011 at 12:33 | Report abuse |
    • cmebe

      Hey guys!

      I am an editorial producer for the Anderson Cooper Live show based in New York. We are looking on doing a segment on night eating to educate the public at large about this condition. You guys are NOT alone! I would love to speak to any of you guys interested in possibly being a guest on our show in hopes to encourage people with this condition to get help. If any of you guys are interested in hearing details about our show, please email me on my personal email: Christiembear@gmail.com

      Thanks!

      January 10, 2013 at 16:01 | Report abuse |
  42. Snorlax

    I sleep and eat, then eat, then sleep, then I eat again.

    March 9, 2011 at 12:06 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jack

      what a life you lead! get a life

      March 9, 2011 at 13:36 | Report abuse |
  43. Colonel Kenneth Wayne Treuter, Esquire

    Well, the woman in your leading photo would require me to put a bag over her head, and then eat her.

    Obviously, she is MUCH better looking than my 300-pound illegal mexican wife - LOL!

    Such is life in the lawyering world.

    March 9, 2011 at 14:48 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Kenneth W. Treuter

      Once again, my brother, Charles Richard Treuter, has used my name to post an asinine comment hoping others will read it and think it was posted by me. This sociopathic brother is so thoroughly exposed as the fraud that he is, the pathological liar that he is and the Internet Troll that he has been on several blogs. A commissioned and licensed private investigator has done an excellent job of exposing both him and his "wife" at: http://exposingdocchuck.blogspot.com/

      March 16, 2011 at 23:46 | Report abuse |
  44. Jon

    i do this all the time... i'm not sure if its due to lack of sleep or due to the fact that i typically eat a healthy diet and crave things like cookies and other sweets and when i finally get them, i eat them till their all gone. i'm not so sure its due to lack of sleep because my grandmother on my mom's side and my father both do the same thing. i think i got a special gene...

    March 9, 2011 at 15:38 | Report abuse | Reply
    • cmebe

      Hey guys!

      I am an editorial producer for the Anderson Cooper Live show based in New York. We are looking on doing a segment on night eating to educate the public at large about this condition. You guys are NOT alone! I would love to speak to any of you guys interested in possibly being a guest on our show in hopes to encourage people with this condition to get help. If any of you guys are interested in hearing details about our show, please email me on my personal email: Christiembear@gmail.com

      Thanks!

      January 10, 2013 at 16:01 | Report abuse |
  45. Bob

    "At first, the things that she was eating were pretty normal but rarely very healthy. Carbs, fat and the occasional protein."
    -Why is that not healthy? sounds like a PB sandwich, or maybe buttered toast. Carbs aren't the devil, neither are fat and protein. In fact, they're all vital to living. The examples of a baked potato and veggie burger aren't helping the unhealthy claim either.

    "half-eaten can of cat food and she was not sure if she had really fed it to her cat."
    -How bad is your morning breath, if you can't tell whether you munched on cat food??

    March 10, 2011 at 17:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Patty Tucker

    http://www.sleepofchampions.com
    I've seen this in patients and clients, too. Sticks of butter, whole tubes of cookie dough and frozen dinners seemed to be favorites. I do find that many who suffer sleep related eating disorder are severely limiting their caloric intake during the day, often in effort to lose weight. Maybe the body tries to get what it needs by sneaking in the missing calories while they sleep! Obviously, though a stick of butter is not a great weight loss strategy!! A balance daytime diet with a well planned pre-bedtime snack may be a better idea.

    March 15, 2011 at 15:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. bettyannn s.

    I never seen any mention of narcolepsy my daughter has this and it took 3 yrs. for the doctors to find out what was wronf with her. I have wrote to all the doctors shows and they do not even respond to my letters. probably because they don't know what it is because no one famous has this,

    May 11, 2011 at 10:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. cmebe

    Hey guys!

    I am an editorial producer for the Anderson Cooper Live show based in New York. We are looking on doing a segment on night eating to educate the public at large about this condition. You guys are NOT alone! I would love to speak to any of you guys interested in possibly being a guest on our show in hopes to encourage people with this condition to get help. If any of you guys are interested in hearing details about our show, please email me on my personal email: Christiembear@gmail.com

    Thanks!

    January 10, 2013 at 16:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. mary

    Hi, It's amazing what can happen to people! I have had recurring episodes of this for many years. I have a history of Graves disease. I had RAI to elininate the thyroid gland in 1997. I now take synthyroid and cytomel two different thyroid hormone replacements. To date when my tsh does not always stay stable, and during the times I am hyper thyroid, I do this; it is terrorizing, and it usually involves eating sweet foods! The irony to that is, I don't care much for sweets, and when my tsh is elevated I have major salt cravings. I don't understand how this can happen! :'(

    April 20, 2013 at 19:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. kerri ann

    My boyfriend fell asleep last night, so I ordered a takeaway for one, when it arrived he woke up and ate it with me and today he can't remember eating it at all, or even talking to me, what causes this?

    November 1, 2013 at 17:57 | Report abuse | Reply

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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.