It is estimated that about 73.6% percent of Americans are either obese or overweight, much of which is attributed to Night Eating Syndrome (NES).
With the prevalence of obesity and diabetes on the rise, Night Eating Syndrome should be a concern for anyone struggling with food addiction.
When it comes to eating disorders or body image, people tend to become oversensitive and defensive. People don’t want to hear it, but avoiding specific topics doesn’t make them go away, we need to confront it.
I know those of us with Night Eating Syndrome are tired of being told that our behaviours are caused by depression, stress, lack of self-control, etc. These issues can indeed play a part in NES symptoms, but they do not cause the problem.
If your eating patterns disrupt your sleep and begin to interfere with your work or school functions, you have an unhealthy behaviour that needs attention.
I’ll share 20 effective, easy and practical ways on how to Overcome Night Eating Syndrome and Stop Eating at Night.
What is Night Eating Syndrome
Night eating syndrome is a condition you eat during the night, usually after you have already gone to sleep. It is when individuals consume most of the meals after the sun has gone to bed. Night eaters can’t seem to help themselves when they wake up in the middle of the night with ravenous hunger and start eating.
Night eating syndrome is also known as “sleep-related eating disorder” and “nighttime hyperphagia.” Several things might lead to Night Eating Syndrome, including;
- Shortage of Sleep
- Alcohol Usage
7 Harmful Effects of Night Eating Syndrome
The effect of Night Eating Syndrome is devastating. People who suffer from this condition experience a wide array of health problems.
Some of these problems are;
Hypersomnia or Insomnia
Night Eating Syndrome can disrupt your sleep and lead to insomnia.
This type of insomnia prevents you from falling asleep and staying awake during the night.
Diabetes and Heart Disease
Eating at night increases the risk of diabetes and heart disease. Night-eaters who snack after dinner not only eat a lot more overall, but they tend to eat more calories from fat and protein and fewer from carbs.
This high-fat diet may lead to insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes, which raises the risk of heart disease.
With this disorder, individuals will tend to eat during the night and typically consume more than they will during the day. This, in turn, leads to obesity which can be a leading problem for many individuals with this disorder.
Blood Glucose Instability
Eating late at night when you are not hungry can cause blood glucose instability, especially if you have insulin resistance.
Worsened Insulin Sensitivity
People with night eating syndrome are especially vulnerable to insulin resistance. Most times, insulin resistance is a result of the high level of cortisol and a shortage of sleep. This can lead to damaged cells in the body.
Night eaters tend to eat excessive amounts of refined carbohydrates after dark. This raises their levels of blood sugar and insulin. However, they may have standard glucose tolerance in the morning.
The condition of night eating syndrome involves disturbed sleep and episodes of hypersomnia.
Both insufficient sleep and meals during the night lead to total sleep deprivation, depressed mood, impaired cognition and attention, and impaired fasting glucose levels.
Suffering From Depression or Anxiety
Night Eating Syndrome (NES) causes you to be awake for a considerable period. This means you will then have to sleep and wake up later than usual.
It may cause depression or anxiety due to the change in sleeping patterns. Anyone who has NES knows that the process of eating at night can affect their emotions overall. When you eat in the morning, your mood is generally better overall.
20 Practical (Science-Backed) Ways Stop Binge Eating at Night
Many people love to eat after they get home from work and are too tired to cook. Sometimes we even binge because we’re stressed or upset about something that happened today.
Many people eat late at night. Everyone does this occasionally, but some do it every night.
For these people, it becomes a bad habit. Such lousy eating habits can contribute to weight gain and obesity. Many other problems come with eating late at night, such as fatigue and an inability to focus correctly.
The difficulty in stopping late-night snacking has less to do with diet and more to do with poorly timed habits with nothing to do with hunger. This article will give you some tips for how you can stop eating at night so quickly.
It would allow you to get back on the right track with your good health.
Set Your Alarm for Earlier in the Evening
For people who find that they eat more at night, setting an early alarm may be beneficial.
Drink Coffee or Tea (No Milk, Do Not add Sugar or Honey)
Despite being highly addictive, coffee has health benefits like weight loss, preventing Alzheimer’s disease, and improving your skin tone.
Most people believe that its ability to boost cognitive function is the main reason for its health benefits. This increases their cholesterol levels and promotes weight loss.
Stay Busy to Avoid Getting Hungry and Bored, Sighing and Eating.
You can minimize night eating syndrome risk factors by doing some busy activities to help you control your cravings for more meals during the night.
Binge eating at night is generally related to those who are prone to be lazy throughout the day.
This is why it is important to get busy during the daytime.
Drink Water Before your Meals Rather Than with Them.
If you eat at night, you may want to start drinking water before your meals. This both fills your stomach and suppresses your appetite. Drinking water before meals will aid in weight loss and avoid night eating syndrome.
If you suffer from nocturnal eating habits, drinking water before meals can help.
- Take a certain amount of food, place it out in front of you, and then stop eating when that pile has vanished.
If you want to beat this sleep-eating syndrome, then you must stop scarfing down food at night. You will always experience digestion problems when you don’t chew your food slowly.
The faster you eat, the more likely it is that food gets trapped inside your stomach and causes discomfort.
Eat a Good Breakfast
Breakfast is the most crucial meal during the day. However, if you are suffering from night eating syndrome, it is better to eat a good breakfast. Start your day with a filling breakfast. This will help to reduce your risk of consuming too many calories during the night.
Exercise During the Day
Exercising during the day will help you reduce night eating syndrome. Just 30 minutes a day of exercise can make you fall asleep faster. Exercises that use most of your muscles are ideal. For instance, skipping rope, walking on steppers, jumping jacks, and pushups.
If you feel like doing exercises at night such as jogging or yoga, do post-exercise activities instead.
Plan out Your Meals for the Week
To reduce Night Eating Syndrome, it is crucial to plan your meals for the week. Planning your meals and sticking to them will bring order into your eating patterns.
This will prevent you from grazing through the night.
It will also save you time because you will not have to think of what you will eat next when you should eat and stop eating.
Get a Good Night Sleep
If you want to reduce night eating syndrome, try to keep a good sleeping habit of getting a good night’s sleep. Some people are suffering from this problem so that they eat in the middle of the night. If you have this problem, you will be complete after dinner or lunch but still, feel hungry.
It leads to eating in the middle of the night again and again. This can make your body fat and unhealthy as well. So if you learn to get a good sleeping habit, you can reduce night eating syndrome easily and quickly.
Don’t go to Bed Hungry
One reason why some people with night eating syndrome have trouble losing weight is that they often don’t consume enough calories during the day.
This can make them feel hungry when they go to bed, leading to unhealthy snacks. Eventually, it can increase caloric intake and lead to eventual weight gain.
To stop food cravings at night, it’s essential to avoid going to bed famished or even mildly hungry.
Remove Trigger Foods
Trigger foods are just those foods that can cause you to start eating. Having trigger Foods is one of the significant reasons we gain weight and have uncontrollable binges at night.
These are foods that are easy to eat, taste good, and for some people can change how some of their brain chemistry functions. Triggers cause some people to binge eat.
It is mainly a nighttime and weekend consumption of excessive amounts of food that many times can’t be finished.
Eat more Proteins and Healthy Fats
People with this disorder could consume foods that reduce the hunger and desire to eat late at night. Research has shown that eating more proteins and healthy fats such as plant oils could help improve satiety.
While increasing physical activity could also play a role in decreasing hunger.
Create a Schedule for Eating
To reduce night eating syndrome By creating an eating schedule. That works with your lifestyle and appetite. Just like everyone else, you have eating habits that are unique to you.
For some people, this may mean that dinner is generally at 6 pm when they come home from work. Others may prefer a late supper at 10 pm after reading a book at night.
Avoid Junk Food
Night eating syndrome is an issue that affects a significant number of people. At night, we consume large quantities of food and consume junk food to counteract the inadequate amounts of sleep that we have had. Junk food should be avoided, and carbohydrates must not be beyond a specific limit.
Have a Plan for Cooking your Meals at Night
By planning for cooking your meals, you can have a quick and easy way to get meals ready for you before you go out during the week.
Stop Eating 2 Hours Before Bedtime
People who have this problem typically eat very late into the night. Starting from a few hours before bedtime or in the middle of the night and continuing for several hours afterwards.
They may even eat right up until they go to bed. Some people feel they have no choice but to continue eating while others simply continue eating due to habit and habit alone.
Eating a large meal late in the evening alters one’s natural sleep cycles. It can disrupt your sleep and lead to increased consumption of calories. To reduce night eating syndrome, stop eating 2 hours before bedtime.
Take a Warm Bath Before Bed
After a long day at work, slip into a warm bath or shower and see how it can combat night eating syndrome. Take a moment to relax the mind and body.
Seeking support is one of the most important things that you can do to reduce your night eating syndrome. The very act of openly discussing your problems and fears with a person who loves you and is committed to listening in a nonjudgmental way helps. It can help you find support for yourself, feel more connected, less lonely, and more balanced.
Find the Reason/Cause
Most people experiencing night eating syndrome are not aware that this could be a symptom of something more. It’s always good to know the cause/reason behind any problem or strange behaviour you are experiencing, especially regarding your health and wellness.
When you have night eating syndrome and want to find the cause, first ask yourself these questions.
Are you trying to lose weight?
Have you tried diets in the past that didn’t work?
Is your BMI higher than it should be according to your height?
Answering this question goes a long way in solving the problem.
Learning how to stop binge eating at night might not appear very easy. The secret is to follow these easy and practical tips. Changing night eating syndrome doesn’t happen in a day but with efforts, you would see a remarkable improvement in your eating habits.