National Eating Disorders Association

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Night Eating Syndrome

Hi! I am new here and am looking to get help. I have been a night eater for MANY years (15-ish) and while I was in college it wasn't bad. Now (I feel) it is out of control. Sometimes I wake up and can't go back to sleep unless I eat. Sometimes I don't wake up at all until I drop a fork on the floor after I've eaten something. I am now considered obese. I feel like without this night eating thing, I can start to manage my weight. I am very concerned because of my family history of heart problems and diabetes. I don't know what to do about it. When I spoke to my physician about it, all he did was tell me, "Well, it's a habit change." I'm sure it is, but I need more to go on and much more support than "It's your body, you deal with it." Can anyone tell me options that I may have..a dietician? sleep study? Any help would be GREATLY appreciated. I need to lose all this weight that I gained.

Hi mike, I'm sorry it doesn't

Hi mike, I'm sorry it doesn't seem you were given any help in the past, but you came to the right place! Speaking to a medical professional like a therapist that you feel comfortable with is probably the first step to discovering any food-related issues you may have. Eating disorders are very serious conditions that have more to do with the underlying emotions and any direct relationship to food seen on the surface and observed by most. Nutritionists are usually a part of the process and become part of the treatment team that works together towards recovery. To find a therapist, or nutritionist in your area that will work for you, the NEDA helpline will be able to help you, 1800-931-2237, their hours are M-Th 9-9, Fri 9-5 EST
You are not alone, let us know what you decide to do and how it goes!
Briana, NEDA Volunteer

nighttime eating

I wake up every nite around 1 and find myself in the kitchen. for about 6 mos.I have starting putting nuts, etc. beside my bed so I do not have to go downstairs.I wake up and find myself getting nuts, etc. everywhere. I take 3 anti depressants as well as other behavioral and anxiety meds. My depression is under control. I am 62 and have very little stress. I was diagnosed with panic disprder and anxiety in 1986. I need to lose some weight. I do not eat sweets.and eat a healthy diet. I see a psychiatrist for panic/anxiety for med checks every 5 mons. We have never discussed this. After eating I usually fall asleep.Any suggestions???


Hi dnewberry, welcome to the forums. Your post has been edited to remove numbers and names of medications. Please review the Community Guidelines here: Thanks and continue posting!


Hey dnewberry. Sorry to hear that you feel like you're struggling. Was it your doctor that suggested you lose weight? I am by no means a health professional, but I've heard that SSRIs can affect appetite.
On another note, this seems to be an old thread. I think it might be to your benefit to create a new thread for yourself - perhaps both here and in one of the more active boards such as Maintaining Recovery or Working Toward Recovery. Both of those boards have a pretty fast response time from other members.
As for suggestions, have you discussed these cravings with your physician? They may not be out of the norm.


Registered dietitian

Is better.

Hi Mike, I’m on the same boat

Hi Mike, I’m on the same boat as you are. I beat this once years ago by drinking water and will power. I guess I mistook thirst for hunger. But stress and problems and not eating enough during the day made it worse. Right now I eat late too and can’t sleep unless I stuff myself with sweets. I will try the water approach slowly. Can’t do it cold turkey. What time do you wake up and go to bed? And what time is your first meal? Maybe you’re not eating enough during the day. So many variables. But I think if we isolate the main causes we can work towards recovery.

Night Eating Syndrome

Finally I can put a name to my ailment. I am 49 years old and have been battling this ever since I can remember. Except now, it is getting worse. For the past few years, I wake up abruptly from a deep sleep and have such an overwhelming urge to eat anything in sight despite being half asleep, and it occurs several times a week. It got to the point that my weight got off the charts. I resorted to having a gastric sleeve bypass surgery 3 months ago thinking that I was merely just overeating due to depression. But now I finally know better. Thank God I know now that I have this disease because I was going crazy....(still am but now I can put a name on it). I have lost Xlbs since surgery but last night the NES came back. I need help to control this or all my efforts have been futile. I thank the people who have created this page and for all those who help others like me. Any insight and help is greatly appreciated. God bless.

Time for Lunch

Hi at what time you take lunch? I mean there is a difference between two meals, and so if you take lunch in the mid of the day. Then eat before a certain time before sleeping. If you wake up at night then try to resist the urge of eating.

Dear Harold4327

If you have questions regarding eating disorders please reach out to our NEDA Helpline at 800.931.2237 M-Th 11am-9pm ET and F 11am-5pm ET or chat with us online M-Th 9am-9pm ET and F 9am-5pm ET. Our volunteers can help you source information, resources, and professionals in your area. Additionally, you can visit our resource page here: