Why do I wake up to eat in the middle of the night?
Asked by on Jul 31, 2008
in Emotional & Behavioral Issues
I wake up in middle of night and go to kitchen to get snack foods, like snack crackers, ice cream and cookies. What's going on with me?
You might have Night Eating Syndrome (NES), a disorder of eating, mood and sleep. It is characterized by insomnia and overeating in the middle of the night and a lack of appetite in the morning and under-eating during the day. NES might be due to low levels of serotonin and hormonal imbalances related to stress. Snacking can be an attempt to self-medicate with carbohydrates, which can increase serotonin production and lead to sleep. NES is treated with Zoloft and mental health therapy, and by eating enough calories during the day. Read more about NES from the Guide to Eating Disorders at About.com.