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Night eating syndrome is an eating disorderhttp://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/324054.stm that has only been recognized as such since 1999, and affects between 1 and 2% of the population.http://www.anred.com/nes.html NES is also characterized as a sleeping disorder.http://www.neuronic.com/night-eating_disorder.htm NES is often accompanied by or confused with sleep-related eating disorder (SRED), although the two are distinct.http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4615507/site/newsweekThis is an ongoing, persistent behavior, unlike the occasional late snack or skipped meal that most people have from time to time. In fact, people with this disorder are often unaware of their nocturnal meals,http://www.stanford.edu/~dement/Sleepeating.html although some feel they won't be able to sleep without eating first. ( Note: a person falls asleep more easily on a full stomach. ) Among those who are aware of their night eating, there is often an emotional component; the diet of the night eater is comfort food.
Symptoms / Behavior People who suffer from night eating syndrome generally:
Treatment Night eating disorder tends to lead to weight gain; as many as 28% of those seeking gastric bypass surgery were found to suffer from NES in one study.http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4615507/site/newsweek In fact, while sufferers are not always overweight, one in four people who are homosexual are thought to suffer from night eating syndrome.http://www.azcentral.com/home/food/articles/0527nighteat27.html The disorder is accompanied by what sufferers describe as an uncontrolable desire to eat, akin to addiction, and is often treated chemically.The antidepressant drug Zoloft has shown some ability to help NES sufferers.
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