The Drs: Late-Night Binge Eating + Nocturnal Eating Syndrome

The Doctors: Late-Night Binge Eating

The Doctors introduced Susana, who has been struggling with binge-eating late at night. Her husband hears her indulging in food in the middle of the night, and Susana explained that sometimes she’s not even hungry, she just feels like she needs to eat something. She eats a lot of junk food including chips, cookies, and soda. She’ll order a burger and fries at midnight and over the last four months it’s gotten even worse because of stress. She’s gained about 10 pounds in the last month and is supposed to get married in June of 2016. She got fitted for her wedding dress a few months ago and now she can’t even fit into her wedding dress.

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The Doctors sent Susana to see Dr Raj Dasgupta for a consultation at the Sleep Center. She said she eats about 50% of her total calories at night and sometimes she just can’t sleep because she’s overwhelmed by the need to eat. Her dad suffers from sleep apnea, so Dr Raj wanted to test her for obstructive sleep apnea to be sure she’s not suffering from an underlying sleep condition.

The Drs: Late-Night Binge Eating + Nocturnal Eating Syndrome

The Doctors heard from a young woman who has been suffering from extreme binge eating late at night, and couldn’t figure out where her compulsion was coming from. (121483302@N02 / Flickr)

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The Doctors: Nocturnal Eating Syndrome

Susana and Dr Raj joined The Doctors, and Dr Raj explained that he found Susana had Nocturnal Eating Syndrome with episodes of binge eating. It’s normal to eat at night every once in a while, but when you can’t go to sleep without eating or are eating most of your meals at night after dinner, that’s when you likely meet the criteria for Nocturnal Eating Syndrome.

Stacy Kaiser, a psychotherapist, explained that Susana was feeling a compulsion to eat. Dr Raj suggested that Susana journal her emotions before she eats to look for triggers, then he suggested cognitive behavioral therapy. You can’t set yourself up to eat at night, which is why a good breakfast is so important. Stacy suggested psychotherapy for Susana, and offered to teach her new ways to manage her stress.

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