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waking up to eat in middle of night...

i find myself doing this more and more lately. on saturday night, i woke, and i use the term loosely, to stumble across my room and open a box of crackers so i could eat some (maybe 6) and then went on to eat some smoked almonds (about 12). i felt as asleep as i can imagine without still sleeping and stumbled back into bed, falling back asleep right away. last night i woke with the same hunger in the middle of the night. i did not get up and eat, though, bcause it was so cold...

Mon. Jan 29, 12:13pm

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I am a sleep walker/eater too

That is my biggest downfall, I always wake up and eat. So I al least put fruit close to eye level in the front of the fridge (cause that is where I go) so that I at least only eat fruit. THen I go back to sleep. Sometimes I wake up wondering if I ate anything in the middle of the night and have to really think about it.

I have NO CLUE whay that is.

When I go to bed early to get a good night sleep I will wake up, but if I keep myself awake late to get less sleep, I wont wake up at all.

Monday, January 29, 2007, 4:41 PM

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OMG that is ME...and i pick the worst things to eat..and its been more in the last problem is i get up to pee at least 4 times so thats when i grab something..i like the cut up fruit idea!! thanks

Monday, January 29, 2007, 5:48 PM

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This is a long shot but do any of you take a sleeping pill? they've shown that some sleeping pills cause night time/sleep eating in some people. (Lovely side effect)

Monday, January 29, 2007, 6:47 PM

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4:41 poster
I don't take any sleep aids. Actually I don't take anything. I been clean and sober for 11 years. I exercise real early in the AM so that can't be it either.

Monday, January 29, 2007, 6:49 PM

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I saw this on a talk show. Dr. Phil, Oprah...I can't remember. This woman could not lose weight because of how much she ate in the middle of the night. I think they mentioned something about stress, but even the doctors wheren't sure what the actual issue was. The only thing that I would suggest to you all...and I've been considering it a weightloss hypnosis cd that you listen to while you sleep. If it's a real problem, it's worth a shot, right? I can't imagine the cd would be that expensive.

btw...the woman on the show did not fully wake up when she was eating during the night, so she couldn't stop herself.

Monday, January 29, 2007, 8:10 PM

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Im wondering if the people who do this are getting enough calories in during the day. Are you hungry when you wake up or just feel the urge to eat? If its just the urge to eat, i would chaulk it up to stress or something. I wake up hungry in the middle of the night if i havent eaten enough during the course of my day.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007, 6:22 PM

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Have you considered a thyroid issue? I only ask because I have a co-worker going through the same thing. She hasn't been dieting, but has started eating in her sleep. Her doctor says it could be caused by the thyroid & is sending her for tests

Tuesday, January 30, 2007, 10:38 PM

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What about diabetes?

Have any of you people who are having this problem been checked for diabetes? A hypo (very low BG) causes one to feel starved. And eat the fridge clean, sometimes!

If, by chance, you are diabetic or have "reactive hypoglycaemia" (a precursor to diabetes) there is a good chance you are waking from a hypo & eating in automatic mode to deal with it. Especially the ones who said they barely (if at all) actually wake up when they do this.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007, 11:17 PM

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stress is my trigger

I do this too. I've found that when I'm over stressed or over tired, I am worse about it. My blood levels have been checked recently and everything was in a normal healthy range, including blood sugar levels. I have done it whether I eat a lot during the day or not eaten enough. I know for me, the best cure is to exercise to relieve some of the stress and to go to bed at a decent time to not allow myself to get over tired.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007, 12:53 PM

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eating mid of night everynite!

Hi ive had the waking in the middle of the night a few times every night for the past 7 years. I eat dinner and dessert before bed every night and still wake up and go straight to the fridge and get cereal, cakes, granola bar etc. I wake up depressed and can barely get out of bed it s a cycle ive been in and im so sick of it. I went to the dr he precscribed lexapro to sleep but it doesnt work i still get up and a holistic docs who said to be macroiotic still woke up and one today who said it is the hypoglecimia waking me up and said to take chrom piconate Im realy hopeless at this point Please help!!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007, 6:44 PM

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eating mid of night everynite!

Hi ive had the waking in the middle of the night a few times every night for the past 7 years. I eat dinner and dessert before bed every night and still wake up and go straight to the fridge and get cereal, cakes, granola bar etc. I wake up depressed and can barely get out of bed it s a cycle ive been in and im so sick of it. I went to the dr he precscribed lexapro to sleep but it doesnt work i still get up and a holistic docs who said to be macroiotic still woke up and one today who said it is the hypoglecimia waking me up and said to take chrom piconate Im realy hopeless at this point Please help!!Please email me with suggestions r_j858@hotmail, Id appreciate it esp since everyone thinks im crazy and have a parasite!!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007, 6:44 PM

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just stop

seriously people - unless you have a rare condition that involves sleepwalk-eating, you are being really silly. Blaming your weight on sleep bingeing or thyroid problems is a really lame way to make yourself feel better. And as for diabetes i am pretty sure that being overweight contributes to the risk of diabtetes - so controlling your weight is the key here rather than blaming your 'unconcious' eating on the disease itself. solutions? stop the lying. practise some self-control. Put some marbles around your bed.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009, 8:51 PM

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This is an extremely rude and insensitive comment. What kind of cartoon world do you live in where breaking our necks (slipping on marbles) is an alternative to a very real and serious sleep walking issue? I have had this issue for the past 9 years and I am healthy person who exercises and is of ideal weight, however it's still frustrating to be a "sleep eater." Let's take a lesson from Bambi, "If you don't have anything nice (or of positive contribution) to say, don't say anything at all."

Thursday, November 12, 2009, 12:41 PM

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I know

I have never ate in my sleep. But, I have woke up in the night to eat, for years. Not every night, just some times when I know there is something good to eat. I have stopped doing that. My husband mentioned he heard me in the kitchen. I guess I did it, because some crazy reason I thought it didn't count. It does. It a crazy form of binge eating. Don't do it anymore you are in control.

Thursday, November 12, 2009, 7:46 PM

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I had a friend in college who was a sleep eater. She had no recall of the binging episodes, but there were the tell tale signs all over the kitchen the next morning. In an effort to stop the behavior she tied her wrists to her head board with light weigh string. In the morning she found the string chewed? shredded? and had again binged in her sleep. I should note that she had a full-blown eating disorder during her waking hours. She couldn't even escape it in her sleep, poor girl. I wonder how she's doing...

Thursday, November 12, 2009, 7:47 PM

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It is making me depressed

Okay i am 16 years old and every SINGLE night i wake up and eat anything i can get my hands on. I seriously can't stop myself because i'm not awake when i do it. I know i do it because i wake up the next morning with an empty bowl of cereal in my bed and an empty bag of chips. At first when it happened i didn't mind it much. But now it is way over the top and screwing up my eating habits. I start eating less and less as the day goes by. I don't think i wake up because i'm hungry, because at times i can eat dinner RIGHT before going to bed and i will still wake up. It doesn't seem to be because of hunger, more because of a mental aspect. I'm becoming depressed because of it and i don't know what to do to stop it....any suggestions?

Saturday, January 23, 2010, 12:20 AM

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I'm 23, i to am of Ideal weight, i don't have diabeties ,i go to the Gym 5 times a week and about 70% of the nights i get up in the middle of the night and eat..... i am awake when i'm going this but i'm not fully awake yet -if you get what i mean? when i do it i crave buscuits cakes or lollies (it seems to be sugary things i want) and i'll just grab what ever is easy but it will never just be a piece of fruit its always something unhealthy....

I have tryed locking my bedroom door & hanging my towel over the door knob and putting all my extra pillows from my bed in front of the door in effort to wake up that little bit more so i can hopfully stop works sometimes.... i started taking complete sleep natural sleeping vitamins... that helped a little aswell...... i have hidden all the snack food before bed... that works well ..... and thanks to the above "nasty person's' "comment i might try the marbles next to my bed (hell if it'll stop me eating why not)

I hate doing it - i'm really into health and fitness and i love my food so i know that i am eating enough - and i also know that my night time eating is stopping me from reaching my goals , so i'd love to stop it once and for all aswell!!

Thursday, June 24, 2010, 12:37 AM

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OMG! You middle of the night eaters must be obese beyond belief! I can't think of a worse time to be eating. This is a very bad habit that you have let yourselsves get into and maintain! Take care of yourselves! Break that habit! Let's have some personal discipline here! Sorry, you don't get sympathy from me, just a lecture.

Thursday, June 24, 2010, 11:35 PM

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I have heard of this, but it's so interesting to see that so many people here have this problem. Sleep disorders are a very strange thing. My husband has night terrors and will actually throw his pillow (or the lamp or books, etc) at zombies and aliens, etc. while he sleeps.

Sorry I don't have any advice for you. But I do know how frustrating and alarming sleep disorders can be and I hope you figure something out.

Friday, June 25, 2010, 4:52 PM

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To the OMG Lecture Lady!

You are such a Troll --
I am 62kg and 165cm Tall last I checked that’s not Obese..... Your comment shows both your ignorance and your arrogance not to mention you clear lack of intelligence.....if anyone needs a lecture its you.

and FYI we are not after sympathy or lectures just some informed advice from those that know what they are talking about (and just in case you were wondering - that is not you).

Thursday, July 01, 2010, 10:17 PM

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4:52 is right on; this is more of a sleep disorder than an eating disorder. Not that I have any idea what to do about it, but I'm sure that there are specialists who do.

Friday, July 02, 2010, 12:55 AM

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just don't open your mouth

Never assume people are lying when you have no idea what is actually going on. If you are not a doctor and are condescending, it is a bad combination and you need to leave. I was not trying to lose weight. I'm 5'5 and 120 lbs, and workout religiously. I was once anorexic and bulimic when I was younger, and eventually forced myself to just start eating more, because I was very OCD and overdoing it with the exercise. This is where I got into the habit of eating late at night, and didn't care about stopping myself since my goal was to gain weight. When it came to the point where I needed to stop I couldn't. Like clockwork, I would wake up in the middle of the night to eat. If I didn't give into it, I wasn't falling asleep again. Last year I was diagnosed with generalized anxiety and bipolar disorder. After about a month of being on Zoloft I was fine. I would slip once in a while but no big deal. Now that my life is nothing but stress I've started doing it again and it's worse this time, because I have bad dreams and I wake up during them and eat, and I'll either remember it as part of my dream or the only evidence I'll have is garbage in the garbage can I don't recognize. I also don't have health insurance right now either, so the plan is to put 'don't eat' signs all over the cupboards and refrigerator. I've blocked the kitchen off with suitcases before too.

Thursday, July 22, 2010, 10:45 AM

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Yet another woman with same issue - ideal body weight...

To those who think we're complaining - why the hell are you on this site??? No point for you being here, unless to support us.

I am a recovering alcoholic with bad sugar issues. There IS some aspect of physiology here...because alcohol is sugar, works on the brain like sugar, and most drunks have an abnormal sensitivity to sugar. I hang with sober peeps, and we all can put away a bag of candy in a blip.

All that said, the half-asleep eating thing sucks. It really does. I don't have the urge to overeat at ALL during the day. BUT I eat PLENTY...probably 2,500 calories at least, but I'm 5'9" and ride my bike everywhere (don't have a car), etc. Honestly, people think I'm in tip top shape.

But it's EXTREMELY difficult. It never hits me when I wake up in the morning, fully-rested. It hits me OFTEN in the middle of the night when I wake up to use the restroom. My brain is so fogged and it seems like I HAVE to eat to get the chemicals straight. Part of me knows my subconscious knows the sugar/carbs will knock me OUT - I think there is this underlying anxiety about falling back to sleep....? But really, I just feel I am underwater, floating...

I have suffered from insomnia, night terrors, some sleep-walking, and also wake up screaming and pounding the wall with my fists! My boyfriends always laughed - I'm not the sanest sleeper! I've also got a history of sleep disorders in my family.

So, who knows? I'm hoping that I can find some answers. The best bet is to just NOT have the food around, which was FINE when I lived by myself.

Now, I have a roommate, and I've binged on her M&Ms once, so now I keep my own stash of candy because it's not fair to eat her food, and that just makes me feel even worse.

Any suggestions??? I've tried everything from exercising, fruit, protein, eating before bed...although the BEST thing I probably should do is just not drink fluids 4 hours before bed!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010, 2:07 AM

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I would run straight to a doctor for help not just get support here, although support here is much needed I only see a few that saw a doctor. I also saw the lady on Dr. Oz that would eat in the middle of the night. Hers was totally stress related so maybe getting a therapist would help. I would also maybe put a lock on the fridge and buy those baby safe locks for the cabinets. Maybe that would slow you down enough to wake up or could you put some kind of alarm up that would go off when you enter the kitchen? I can't imagine what this would be like and my prayers are with you, let us know what the doctor says.

Thursday, August 19, 2010, 10:18 AM

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I too wake and eat at night craving something sweet. I have suffered from low blood sugar most of my life. My Dr. seems to think that my blood sugar dips in the night and this is what causes me to wake and eat. I think it is several reasons . I will wake if I know there is something sweet in the kitchen or if I am stressed. I know I cannot keep myself from waking and eating but I have found a way around the weight gain. I will take a few graham crackers with peanut butter on them and put them in a small ziploc. I will keep them on my nightstand so they are there when and if I wake up. I will eat them and go back to sleep. This has cured my stumpling to the kitchen and getting into something that will really pack the pounds on. My sweet craving is satisfied instantly.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010, 12:48 AM

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I've got to chime in here as I've been struggling with this for as long as I can remember. First let me say, that when I eat during the night I am FULLY awake. I started this practice as a youth as an 'opportunity' to raid all the (hidden) treats in my mom's house- we didn't have a lot of junk food around growing up, but what was there could be found hidden in the STRANGEST places- under the chair in the living room, in the back of the closet, etc. I'd wake up in the night and take just enough that she might not even miss it (cookies from the LAST row in the bag, for example, or one handful of chocolate chips, etc.) This pattern was repeated so much that as an adult, when I wake up in the middle of the night the FIRST THING I think about is FOOD. I have to give myself a pep talk EVERY night not to get up and raid the fridge- and I must ad that when I'm in this frame of mind it's NOT healthy food I'm after (after all, I never had to 'sneak' a piece of fruit!)

I am getting much better at this (I've now lost over 40 pounds:) and I use several different strategies and take it one night at a time- just last night I woke up and made myself lie there for a few minutes instead of just acting on impulse- eventually bargained myself down to a few sips of Diet Pepsi (which is 'junky' enough to be a treat for me and I don't drink it that often).

Friday, September 10, 2010, 7:45 AM

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Thursday, September 30, 2010, 11:12 AM

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it's funny, before I changed my diet I would eat a ton at night. I'm a guy so this is considered "normal" behavior. But after I adopted a diet that is very high in vegetables, gluten free and low in sugar and fat my night eating evaporated.

Thursday, September 30, 2010, 11:34 AM

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Sleeping Eating is Depressing!

Wow, it's comforting to see that this Night Eating thing has happened to other people too (everybody I know thinks I'm crazy).

Here is my story. I'm 26, have a healthy weight (5'4", 120 pounds), and exercise 3-5 times every week (a combo of running and gym). I first started sleep eating in college and didn't really know I was doing it until I woke up feeling sick to my stomach and had no idea why. A room mate told me I would get up in the night and just eat everything in sight before going back to bed. I guess this explained the stomach aches.

As time went on, I became more conscious of the "sleep eating" and have been able to get to a semi awake state, yet this does not help. About 2 hours after I fall asleep I wake up with an uncontrollable urge to eat. Uncontrollable is the word, because usually I have amazing will power (keeping my weight down, running marathons, etc.), yet for some reason I am not able to stop myself from going to the kitchen and eating until I am full, then falling back asleep in bed instantly. I have tried various techniques such as eating right before bed, increasing my calorie count, drinking hot tea or lots of water and nothing seems to work.

This "sleep eating" doesn't happen every night, but maybe 2 to 3 nights a week. I went to my doctor about it and he told me to increase my calorie count, but I'm eating a healthy amount of calories as it is (1200-1500 a day). I have noticed that I sleep eat more after I exercise so the calorie thing could be the clue, however even with increased calories it still happens (though I will admit it's not as frequent...and it pains me to eat 1700-2000 calories (even though I know I would exceed that with my sleep eating destructiveness).

My next strategy is perhaps to eat low calorie, filling foods right before bed (I think tonight I'm going to eat nothing but lettuce and see if that cures it). It also helps to get rid of all the junk food and open some healthy food that I put right in front of the refrigerator (like carrots and hummus).

I have also tried sleeping aids in an attempt to trick my body into staying asleep. This too works maybe half of the time, but leaves me feeling groggy when I wake up in the morning.

I also thought this might be tied to a lack of sleep, but I get a good 7-8 hours a night so it's not that.

Wish I had a solution...the next idea might be to see a nutritionist.

Friday, November 05, 2010, 10:41 AM

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I feel so bad for you people!!!

Because I have the same issues! I just can't stop eating!!!!! is the video I made specifically for this forum


Wednesday, June 01, 2011, 8:10 AM

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New PEERtrainer Article:

How To Sleep Better At Night


Saturday, October 22, 2011, 6:30 PM

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I have been diagnosed with this condition but I am not diabetic. I will wake up almost an hour to the minute after I go to sleep. I also wake up a couple of other times during the night and usually find myself eating or drinking something. I keep sugar free jello in the fridge because this sesems to satisfy me in the middle of the night. Sometimes I wake up sweating as well. I'm never sure if the sweating woke me up, the blood sugar, or if my body is just trained to do this. I can't seem to break the habit and it's very frustrating. I'd love to sleep the night through.

Friday, June 08, 2012, 8:27 AM

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Re: Just stop

Unless you've been there, your really shouldn't make such insensitive comments. You're being judgmental and dismissive! Walk a mile in my shoes! It's like telling someone with high blood pressure.Just stop! Really? Do some research and then chime in. Research shows that people under dress or with low dopamine and serotonin levels sleep walk and eat. It's not uncommon!

Sunday, August 12, 2012, 12:34 AM

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Im sorry, but you can't speak for anyone but yourself. Just because you don't have to deal with this problem doesn't mean it's an impossible issue. We aren't using the night eating as an excuse for weight gain, we are simply discussing the topic.

Friday, August 31, 2012, 12:40 AM

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It's not a freaking habit!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It's a disorder related to stress, anxiety, and depression! Get your facts straight, and don't judge other people just because you have the pleasure of not going through this. Basically in comparison, you might as well go post on a cancer blog and tell cancer patients that they're making shit up just because you're ignorant and haven't had to go through it.

Friday, August 31, 2012, 12:46 AM

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