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Sleepwalking and Eating

Sleepwalking is a quite common sleep disorder in children, however, adults can also be affected with sleepwalking especially when adults have relatives who are known sleepwalkers. Sleepwalking is not only characterized by walking during sleep, sleepwalking can also be associated with other activities, such as eating. There are other sleep-related disorders that can happen during a sleepwalking episode. One type of sleep-related disorder that occurs together with sleepwalking or somnambulism is Nocturnal Sleep-Related Eating Disorder or NS-RED. Nocturnal sleep-related eating disorder is a type of sleep-related eating disorders that are characterized by abnormal eating patterns during sleep or even during the night.

Nocturnal Sleep-Related Eating Disorder

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    Sleepwalking and Eating

People who are suffering from nocturnal sleep-related eating disorder eat while they are sleeping. Sleepwalking comes into the picture because, a person who is asleep will walk going to the kitchen, prepare his or her food without the memory of doing so, and then eat the food prepared. People who are suffering from nocturnal sleep-related eating disorder will be surprised why his or her weight increased, since he or she is not aware about the sleep-related eating disorder. Nocturnal sleep-related eating disorder can also increase a person’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Night Eating Syndrome

Night eating syndrome or NES is a sleep-related eating disorder that is closely related with nocturnal sleep-related eating disorder. For night eating syndrome, a person eats with full awareness during the middle of the night or in the middle of the sleep, and finds it hard to fall back to sleep unless he or she eats again. Aside from eating with full awareness in the middle of the night, other symptoms of night eating disorder include but not limited to:

  • No appetite or decreased appetite for breakfast.
  • Eat so little during dinner and eat more after dinner.
  • More than half of daily food intake in taken in the night, specifically after dinner.
  • Several awakening episodes during the night and eating is required for him or her to fall back to sleep.

NS-RED and NES

Nocturnal sleep-related eating disorder differs from Night eating syndrome in a way that NS-RED eat in the middle of the sleep and is unaware, while night eating syndrome is associated with eating during full awareness. However, even symptoms of both sleep-related eating disorders are different, both disorders can really interfere and affect a person’s sleeping pattern, in which it can affect the person’s overall health.

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