Nocturnal Sleep-Related Eating Disorder is not specifically an eating disorder but is closely related to Night Eating Syndrome which is a disorder that causes a person to eat during the night and cannot sleep until they eat. NS-RED is considered to be a sleep disorder in which people eat while they are asleep. People with this disorder might eat in bed or they roam through the house raiding the kitchen.
People not conscious during NS-RED episodes often sleep-walk. They are not aware they are eating, nor do they have memories of doing so (and if they do, they are only fragmentary memories). It is said that these episodes are likely to occur in the state between wakefulness and sleep.
People who have NS-RED are often embarrassed, ashamed or even afraid once they wake up to find they have had an episode. Foods typically consumed during episodes are high-fat, high sugar comfort foods that people attempt to avoid while they are awake. Sometimes NS-RED sufferers will eat bizarre combinations of food such as hotdogs dipped in peanut butter or they eat non-food items like bar soap that has been sliced like a piece of cheese. If these episodes occur often enough, it can cause weight gain and increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
NS-RED can be treated by attending sleep labs, medication, therapy and/or classes. Sleeping pills, alcohol and caffeine should all be avoided if you have been diagnosed with NS-RED.
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