Sleep Centers of Middle Tennessee


Sleep Related Eating Disorder

Sleep related eating disorder (SRED) is characterized by compulsive consumption of food after initiating sleep. The patient with SRED may or may not recall these episodes of eating, and their eating may involve consumption of inappropriate types or quantities of foods. The types of foods consumed as part of SRED are frequently high calorie, high fat, or sweet foods.  In some cases, patients with SRED may also consume non-food items. Patients suffering from this disorder often report gastrointestinal problems, and frequently notice signs of their “sleep eating” the following morning, such as wrappers, leftover food, and other remnants of their nighttime consumptive behavior. SRED can co-occur with sleepwalking, and can be exacerbated by other sleep disorders (such as OSA), sleep deprivation, substance use/medications, or stress. This disorder can be treated with medication, in addition to behavioral interventions such as “alarming” techniques to arouse the patient from sleep before they consume food.
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