You wake up in the morning and discover that your kitchen is a mess. Half-eaten food is scattered all over the place.
The kitchen was spotless when you went to bed. So what happened?
It may be a case of sleep related eating disorder. SRED involves compulsive binge eating that occurs during the night.
Episodes often occur nightly. Some people with SRED even eat more than once per night.
The eating tends to occur when you are only partially awake. You may have no memory of the event in the morning.
SRED always occurs in an “out of control” manner. Food is prepared and consumed rapidly.
High-calorie foods are eaten the most. This can lead to excessive weight gain.
It is also common to eat strange foods or unusual combinations of food. For example you might eat a raw bacon, pickle and coffee grounds sandwich.
Careless food preparation can put you in danger. Fires can occur when you go back to bed with food cooking in the oven or on the stove.
Like other eating disorders, SRED is much more common in women than in men. About 65 percent to 80 percent of people with SRED are women.
Episodes tend to begin before 30 years of age. SRED is often an ongoing and long-lasting problem.
It also can occur as a side effect of using some medications. Many people with SRED also have had another type of parasomnia.
SRED can cause embarrassment and a sense of shame. But the good news is that it can be treated.
SRED tends to respond well to treatment with medications. Contact an AASM-accredited sleep center for help with sleep related eating disorder.