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Late Night Binging: What It Is and How to Stop Doing It

Updated on July 1, 2011

One of the worst habits that people can get into in terms of their diet is night bingeing. And unfortunately, night bingeing is also one of the easiest traps to get caught in. There are a number of different reasons that night bingeing occurs. But the reasons don't matter as much as the fact that night bingeing can ruin your diet plans and cause you to have trouble keeping off unwanted pounds.

What is night bingeing?

Night bingeing, also commonly known as "night eating syndrome" or NES, is a disorder that occurs when an individual engages in the regular acting of consuming a large number of calories at night. Sometimes this can happen actually during the middle of the night, when the person awakes from sleep and goes to binge; in some cases, the individual is not even aware of consuming the food.

Symptoms associated with night bingeing:

There are a number of different reasons that people engage in night bingeing but basically it's an eating disorder caused by a combination of physical and emotional components. Symptoms that indicate you might have a problem with night bingeing include:

  • Eating late at night on a regular basis (usually after ten at night depending on your daily schedule).
  • Eating more than half of your daily calories after your normal dinnertime.
  • Failing to eat during the morning on a regular basis. Night bingeing is often associated with skipping breakfast and eating light lunches then eating a large amount in the evening.
  • Emotional eating. Although this is a separate disorder, night bingeing is associated with emotional eating. People who eat when they are depressed or upset and then feel guilt about the eating are emotional eaters; those who regularly do so at night may be night bingers.
  • Other indications of insomnia. If you have a sleeping disorder in combination with an eating problem, you may be engaging in night bingeing.

What you can do about night bingeing:

If you think that you might have a problem with night bingeing, you should understand that this is a medical disorder that is best treated after diagnosis by a doctor. The doctor will prescribe an appropriate treatment to resolve the night bingeing. This treatment will vary depending on the causes of your night bingeing. For example, if the night bingeing is primarily caused by an emotional eating disorder, you may take medication and receive therapy to stop the night bingeing. In contrast, if it is primarily a combination of insomnia and bad eating habits, you may need a sleep medication combined with a dietary adjustment.

Additional information about night bingeing:

Night bingeing varies from being a very serious disorder to being just a slight diet problem. Generally, people who are aware of their night bingeing and who take steps to prevent it find that they lose weight relatively easily once the problem is under control. They also tend to find that they are more self-confident and energetic when they are no longer night bingeing.


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  • bettybarnesb profile image

    bettybarnesb 6 years ago from Bartlett, TN

    Hey Kathryn: enjoyed your hub. Since I have been working from home, my eating habits have changed. I am having problems changing them back to normal. Your hub helped!

    Be blessed...

  • profile image

    Sam Singh 7 years ago

    Great information. Nice. Thanks

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  • stars439 profile image

    stars439 7 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State.

    Great Hub. God Bless You