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How to Stop Binge Eating at Night with Treatment from Dietitians in the St. Louis Area

What is night eating syndrome?

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Night eating syndrome is an eating disorder characterized by a pattern of nocturnal food intake and associated distress in regards to the behaviors. Key components include:

 

  • Evening Hyperphagia: consuming at least 25% of daily food intake after the evening meal. 

  • Nocturnal Ingestion: waking up to eat at least once during the night. 

  • Insomnia: Difficulty sleeping or staying asleep, often due to the need to eat. 

  • Morning Anorexia: Lack of appetite in the morning 

  • Mood Disorders: Depressions and/or anxiety, which exacerbate in the evening.

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“Why do I binge eat at night?”

This can be for a variety of reasons, such as severely restricting food intake early in the day and emotional factors such as stress, anxiety, depression, or boredom.

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Causes of binge eating at night:

Other causes could be dysregulation in one's circadian rhythms which can influence hunger and eating patterns, where appetite increases in the evening due to hormonal changes, making it harder to resist eating, moreover, established deconstruction patterns with working or watching TV late can reinforce nighttime eating. Those with sleep disturbances are often at higher risk as insomnia can lead to increased hunger, specifically with foods that are more nutrient dense which can then result in nutritional deficiencies - it’s a vicious cycle unfortunately.

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How not to binge eat at night (Night Eating Syndrome):

When you connect with one of our dietitians, they will address nighttime binge eating by identifying and tackling the underlying cause. Strategies to do so, might include working to establish regular meal intake, decreasing stress, improving sleep hygiene, and mindful eating by working on a personalized approach that best fits your needs.

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