Sleep-related eating disorders are disorders that are characterized by abnormal eating patterns during the night, not just disorders limited to abnormal patterns while a person affected is sleeping. For some sleep-related eating disorders, sleepwalking or somnambulism does also co-exist, such as nocturnal sleep-related eating disorder or NS-RED. For whatever type of sleep-related eating disorder a person is suffering from, there will really be an increase risk of developing other medical disorders, such as type 2 diabetes mellitus, and sleep-related eating disorders can also cause significant increase in weight or even developing other types of sleep disorders.
Who Gets Affected?
Who Gets Sleep-Related Eating Disorder?
Sleep related eating disorders can affect both men and women, but sleep related eating disorders are more common in women. For the entire general population, approximately 1% to 3% are affected with sleep related eating disorder. And for people who are known from suffering any eating disorders, about 10% to 15% of them are also affected with sleep related eating disorder. Many people who are not suffering from any eating disorders and are suffering from sleep related eating disorder usually control their food intake during the day for they are trying to lose weight or for other reasons, and will make them hungry and vulnerable during the night to binge, which can soon develop to sleep related eating disorders.
Sleep Disorders and Eating Disorders
Even though both disorders are quite different from each other and commonly exist individually, both sleep disorders and eating disorders can exist together and be referred to as sleep-related eating disorder, just like mentioned above. There can be many different causes for sleep-related eating disorder, and some of the common causes for sleep-related eating disorder are history of alcohol abuse or alcoholism, drug abuse, psychological disorders, and other sleep disorders.
How Can Sleep Related Eating Disorders Be Treated?
To effectively treat sleep related eating disorders, knowing or identifying factors that may have precipitated the disorder will be very beneficial. Aside from knowing the cause or causes, being able to interview the patient thoroughly in a sleep laboratory, asking about his or her symptoms etc., can also help in identifying the right treatment/s for the sleep-related eating disorders. Treatments or managements for sleep related eating disorders may include but not limited to: