How to Treat a Sleep Eating Disorder

Learn how to treat a sleep eating disorder from Allegra Broft, M.D. in this Howcast video.

Transcript

If you have a sleep eating disorder or problem or even just wonder if you do, maybe the type of problem is you're really eating a large amount of your calories at night after your last meal of the day or even waking up in the middle of the night with a strong urge to eat and a feeling like you can't go to bed unless you get up and have some type of snack or even a larger meal or even a binge, or if you're even having the type of eating problem where you wake up in the middle of the night and you're not even aware that you're doing anything but maybe somebody's pointed it out to you, you really want to go and try to talk to some type of professional about what's going on and whether it should be addressed and what type of help is out there for you.

There might be a variety of different types of professionals that you speak to about this and treatments that might be appropriate. For certain types of sleep problems, it may be appropriate to see a sleep specialist who can conduct a laboratory sleep study where you come in at night and you're asleep and behaviors during sleep are monitored.

For other types of sleep problems, there may be assessments that can be made as to types of medications that you're taking or not taking, maybe the addition of a medication or adjustment of a medication is one part of addressing your sleep/eating problem.

Probably, very importantly, there are psychotherapies that can be of help as well. There may be cognitive behavioral therapy strategies that can help address certain aspects of the sleep eating problem. Although I did have one patient with a night eating problem in the past where there was a depression going on as well. Addressing that night eating problem was as simple for her as starting on a medication which helped target both the depression and the night eating problem.

Whatever the nature of your sleep eating problem, entering into a consultation with a professional that is aware of the sleep eating problems can be an essential step into getting proper treatment for the sleep/eating problem that is going on in your life.

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