Nocturnal Eating

by Head Health Nutter on November 29, 2012

Ok, so who hasn’t gone into the fridge or cupboard after midnight? As much as it’s a usual thing these days, night-time eating isn’t usual, or at least natural. Here’s regular blogger and sleep expert, Dr. Mitch Proffman, to give us the deets!  

We now know, according to the latest statistics, that 20% of automobile accidents are the result of sleepy drivers, those who haven’t gotten the sleep they need; and for those of you who are in the military, the researchers have concluded that lack of sleep is a leading cause of friendly fire.

I mention these two things because I want to make sure you get it – you need to get the sleep you need – if you aren’t getting enough sleep. don’t ignore it and push it aside, as so many do. You need to take action.

It is while you are sleeping that your body is repairing itself on a cellular level. By the way, if you are popping sleeping pills, you aren’t getting natural sleep – your sleep is basically counterfeit and your body isn’t able to repair itself on the cellular level.

We all know that our diet is very important if we want to stay healthy. It’s not always easy and maintaining a good diet does require a lot of effort on our part. Well, when it comes to sleep and diet there are a number of interesting sleep disorders that have a lot to do with one’s diet.

There is what is called the nocturnal eating syndrome, sleep-related eating, sleep eating disorder, night eating disorder, and natural sleep-related eating disorder.

Basically this boils down to one thing: night time hunger. This type of behavior has several origins and here’s the tricky part; once the behavior is learned, even if you deal with the underlying cause, the behavior continues. When one eats during the sleep episode, it effects one’s digestive system and the sleep-wake cycle.

Adults who are already dealing with poor sleep hygiene are predisposed to this disorder. Other causes include:

  • varied daily meal and work schedules
  • living in an environment where there is a lot of night time activity
  • if one is already overweight and eats more than they should to begin with
  • or are dealing with some sort of digestive problem that is relieved by eating

There are no hard numbers as to reveal the percentage of the adult population who are dealing with this type of disorder, but based on the statistics and estimates of the number of adults in the country who have some type of sleep issue, one can assume that there are many.

One of the major concerns regarding those suffering from this disorder is excessive weight gain. One factor that does contribute to this disorder is increased number of awakenings during the night. This is something you can deal with. It is normal, during the course of the night, when traveling through the sleep cycles to wake several times, and if you are sleeping normally, shortly after awakening, you will fall back to sleep.

About the Author

Dr. Mitchell Proffman is a holistic chiropractor who has been interested in natural ways to cure insomnia and sleep issues for the past ten years. He has co-authored an eBook: The Deep Sleep Diet with an English Professor, James A. Voketaitis. Visit Dr. Proffman’s website to find out more about his work.

Oh, boy, I think I have some sleep hygiene issues according to this guest post by Doc Proffman! I knew I had some but this just confirms them. How about you?

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