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Sleep Eating - What Can I Do To Stop?
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I had the strangest thing happen last night. I woke up at about 3am to find myself sitting at the kitchen table with the wrappers from more than a dozen Reese's Peanut Butter Cups (full size) in front of me. Apparently I was sleep walking (which I've done on and off since I was a toddler) and raided the Halloween candy. Luckily I had already separated the stuff with gluten, so I didn't gluten myslef.

The worry is, I don't know if I've been doing this a lot, and I am the only gluten-free member of the family, so we have "normal" bread, crackers, cookies, etc in the house.

Every couple of days for the last several weeks I've found dirty dishes (usually large bowls with traces of ice cream) in the sink in the morning. Several times it's been containers with left-overs from the night before. There have also been times where I was sure we had a whole package of lunch meat or cheese, and it's gone when I go to make lunches in the morning.

I had been assuming that my husband (who usually goes to bed after me) had been having a snack before bed. Now I'm thinking that it's actually me who's having the late-night snack without even knowing it! I haven't said anything to my husband about it. Hubby is a deep sleeper and probably wouldn't notice me getting in or out of bed, or making noise. I guess I've just been lucky so far that I haven't glutened myself.

I am pregnant, and have been gaining weight a lot more rapidly than my doc would like me to. I thought that I was eating healthily, but now I'm not so sure. I don't really know how often I'm doing this, or how much I'm eating when I do. But, based on the number of candy wrappers I found in front of me last night, I'm thinking these are probably full-out binges.

The weird thing is, I'm generally hungry in the morning, so I eat a normal breakfast. After my candy binge last night, I assumed that I would not be very hungry for breakfast this morning, but I woke up just as hungry as usual.

Does anyone have any ideas on how to stop sleep-eating? Is this something I need to see a doctor about? We have a large dog (90lbs) who wanders throughout the house at night, so I don't want to set up motion detectors or anything like that because he would set them off.

Please help. I don't want to keep doing this. It's really scary to think that I may be doing this almost every night without even knowing it. Also, it's probably only a matter of time before I eat something with gluten (I'm assuming that I'm not checking ingredients) and make myself sick.

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Wow, that is scary, no wonder you were gaining so much weight!

Maybe your body is trying to tell you something here. Are you eating enough fat and protein? You absolutely need lots of those to get enough nutrition for a growing baby. And yes, you need saturated fat.

The best source of saturated fat is non-hydrogenated, cold pressed coconut oil. You get it at the health food store. It is (besides butter, which is also good for you) the most heat stable fat, and is ideal for cooking and baking.

Olive oil is still the best oil for salad, though.

I suggest eating a snack high in protein before you go to bed, which hopefully will stop those middle of the night binges.

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You need to see your doctor. That is a sleep disorder. Are you taking any sort of drugs? I know Ambien is famous for issues like this. It can be very, very dangerous as some people start making stuff with bizarre ingredients. Like my brother made a sandwich with dozens of ibuprofen in it. Fortunately he didn't eat it! But people do some really bizarre things when they have this sleep disorder, I'm sure your doctor can help you out, or refer you to a neurologist or specialist.

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You need to see your doctor. That is a sleep disorder. Are you taking any sort of drugs? I know Ambien is famous for issues like this.

No drugs. The only non-food items that go into me are prenatal vitamins, sublingual B-12, and occassional Tylenol.

I'm going to try eating a high-protein snack before bed tonight. I'll also try putting a few paper shopping bags on the floor next to my bed. If I step on them on my way out of bed, it might make enough noise to wake me up. That's what my mom used to do when I was a kid to keep me from sleep walking.

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Another thing that comes to mind is, to buy one of those fridge alarms. Then, when you open the fridge while asleep, the alarm will go off and hopefully wake you up.

I hope that eating a good snack before bedtime will help. Otherwise you need to figure out something else, as it can be dangerous for you to eat while asleep! Especially because you have no clue what you are eating.

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Well, the snack apparently didn't help. And the bags next to my bed didn't wake me up. Last night before bed I made sure the sink and trash can were empty so it would be easy to tell if I was up in the night. Then I went to bed after hubby. When I got up this morning, there were candy wrappers in the trash and an ice-cream bowl in the sink (at least I'm neat and clean up when I'm done). I asked hubby when we got the half gallon of ice cream, he said Friday, but he hasn't had any yet. Well, as of this morning it was all but empty (maybe a half cup left). I haven't eaten any during the day, and my daughter doesn't like vanilla, so I know she hasn't had any. So, I have gone through a half gallon of ice cream in one week.

I still haven't told hubby. I'll probably start with telling him that I'm sleep walking again.

I'll see what I can do on my own over the next few days to stop it. If, by next week I'm still sleep-eating, I'll go see a doc about it.

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Get thee to a neurologist or sleep disorders specialist (I have a sleep disorder - it's no fun).

Also, tell your OB-GYN that THAT is the issue and that you are addressing it appropriately.

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Ack! :( :( mommyagain, I have to agree with the other posters who've said to go to a doc about this :( I think that's what's called parasomnia, and can be quite dangerous.

Eating something with gluten in it would be bad, but not as bad as an advil sandwich, like someone mentioned. Other cases I've heard of, people have sliced soap like cheese, and eaten it on crackers; eaten raw meat; tried to cook a grilled cheese sandwich without a pan, on a bare hot burner.

From what I've read, these types of cases are more rare. More commonly, it's just junkfood. The thing is, you'll never be able to predict if you're about to do something dangerous. :( You're really asleep- you won't know what you're doing till it's too late.

I've actually had a very mild version of this. I would get up, while half-asleep and eat ridiculous amounts of junk food, always something high sugar, high fat. I say half asleep because: Sometimes I would remember doing it in the morning, sometimes I would not remember until seeing the evidence, then I would remember. I wasn't completely asleep, I was somewhere in between. And I would remember that I'd get up with a horrible, awful craving for something like cake or cookies.

It was like, I was so groggy, just enough asleep to not give a crap what I was doing. It was mild enough, that when I go through these episodes, I'll put a note up in the kitchen, DON'T EAT. I see that, and for me, that's enough to make me stop and wake up a little.

It sounds like that wouldn't work for you, if you have no memory of it and the paper bag didn't wake you up. I hope you'll see someone soon about this! (((Hugs!)))

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In addition to the great advice you have already gotten make sure that they check your blood sugar. Hopefully this is being done on everytime you see the doctor but with the craving for sweets I would ask to make sure on Monday when you call and ask to be seen ASAP. Make sure they do an A1C in addition to testing fasting sugar. With you sleep eating your 'fasting sugar' may be close to useless.

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It sounds like you have NES; night eating syndrome. You can google this to get more information. Ask your OB if it is safe to take melatonin, as this can be helpful. I would also recommend going to see an eating disorder specialist (therapist or psychiatrist) ASAP as this would be really helpful! You may already have one due to your history.

Good luck!

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It sounds like you have NES; night eating syndrome. You can google this to get more information. Ask your OB if it is safe to take melatonin, as this can be helpful. I would also recommend going to see an eating disorder specialist (therapist or psychiatrist) ASAP as this would be really helpful! You may already have one due to your history.

Good luck!

Damn... I was hoping to keep this quiet from hubby... no chance of that if I start seeing other docs :( I have never actually seen a specialist for an eating disorder. I overcame my anorexia with the help of a very caring boyfriend (who is now my hubby) and a couple of good friends. I generally hate having to see doctors, so I only go when it's something I can't handle myself.

What made me see the light for the anorexia was when my bf showed me two pictures of myself, taken about 18 months apart. The first was taken shortly after we met. I was plump (I thought) but had great skin, and shiny, healthy hair. In the second, I was 30lbs lighter. I happened to be in a bathing suit for that one and I looked like a walking skeleton. Also, my skin was blotchy and my hair was stringy and dull. He told me that the first was the woman he had noticed at a party and decided that he just had to meet. The second he wouldn't have even given a second glance.

Unfortunately, I don't know if there is anything that strong emotional support can do for this one :( I guess I'll ask my OB for a referral to someone this week.

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Hello,

I do the exact same thing when i was living at my mums, my dad said its like theres a big mouse that comes out at night, theres all crum bs in the morning. The trouble is I go for anything sweet and (not as bad latley) anything with gluten. Then the next day i wake up feeling so ruff and dont sleep normally pouring with sweat in the night.

Ive been good the last 4 nights but Ive been so depressed as I ended up with something happening to my muscles on the right side I kept binging in the night. I was sticking to teh diet in the day maybe two days at the most then getting up.

Thinking of you. I am seeing a neurologist shortly i'll let you know what he says about it.

I am staying at my sisters at teh moment and some mornings Id come down and she couldnt believe id eaten stuff for kids packlunch. She also knew when i had by not only my massive belly but I m very bad tempered and depressed when i ve eaten it. Its embarrassing Ive even done it at a friends before.

take care

hugs

mandxx

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Another thing that comes to mind is, to buy one of those fridge alarms. Then, when you open the fridge while asleep, the alarm will go off and hopefully wake you up.

I hope that eating a good snack before bedtime will help. Otherwise you need to figure out something else, as it can be dangerous for you to eat while asleep! Especially because you have no clue what you are eating.

hehehe light subject, but maybe the oinking one...ya know, the pig...hahaha. That definitely would wake me up! :)

I think there are cow ones too.

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It sounds like you have NES; night eating syndrome. You can google this to get more information. Ask your OB if it is safe to take melatonin, as this can be helpful. I would also recommend going to see an eating disorder specialist (therapist or psychiatrist) ASAP as this would be really helpful! You may already have one due to your history.

Good luck!

Yes, melatonin is a really good natural herbal sleep aid. It puts you to sleep slowly and calmly with no grogginess or dizzyness in the morning. I keep a bottle in my medicine cabinet for those hard to get to sleep nights.

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Damn... I was hoping to keep this quiet from hubby... no chance of that if I start seeing other docs :( I have never actually seen a specialist for an eating disorder. I overcame my anorexia with the help of a very caring boyfriend (who is now my hubby) and a couple of good friends. I generally hate having to see doctors, so I only go when it's something I can't handle myself.

What made me see the light for the anorexia was when my bf showed me two pictures of myself, taken about 18 months apart. The first was taken shortly after we met. I was plump (I thought) but had great skin, and shiny, healthy hair. In the second, I was 30lbs lighter. I happened to be in a bathing suit for that one and I looked like a walking skeleton. Also, my skin was blotchy and my hair was stringy and dull. He told me that the first was the woman he had noticed at a party and decided that he just had to meet. The second he wouldn't have even given a second glance.

Unfortunately, I don't know if there is anything that strong emotional support can do for this one :( I guess I'll ask my OB for a referral to someone this week.

This man obviously cares for you especially to support you through anorexia. He found a way to get it through to you without making threats or ultimatums. If he was there for you through that, he'll understand the sleep-eating too, don't you think? With you being pregnant, there is no telling what you could get ahold of and get yourself sick or cause problems for your unborn child. I do know that being wheat and gluten intolerant can cause miscarriages and I'm sure you do NOT want to risk that! Tell your hubby and let him help you. Maybe he could think of something that could help without you having to see a doc. Going to the doctor, if you're like me, causes more stress and worry and right now is not the time for that. Neither is sleep eating, but at least you could eliminate testing. Also, it's not like they can prescribe you anything because taking any rx meds/otc drugs can be danerous.

There are door alarms that sound when a door is opened. Battery operated. Simple and easy. Sure it might wake up the hubby, but at least it might keep you from doing further damage. Just google "battery operated door alarms" or check your local hardware store like Lowes or Home Depot.

Lastly, you should really tell your husband. I think he might feel hurt in knowing you wanted to hide it from him :(

Good luck with this! :)

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You might note that mommyagain hasn't been back to this forum in 11 months. I don' think she'll be seeing your messages.

richard

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I had the strangest thing happen last night. I woke up at about 3am to find myself sitting at the kitchen table with the wrappers from more than a dozen Reese's Peanut Butter Cups (full size) in front of me. Apparently I was sleep walking (which I've done on and off since I was a toddler) and raided the Halloween candy. Luckily I had already separated the stuff with gluten, so I didn't gluten myslef.

The worry is, I don't know if I've been doing this a lot, and I am the only gluten-free member of the family, so we have "normal" bread, crackers, cookies, etc in the house.

Every couple of days for the last several weeks I've found dirty dishes (usually large bowls with traces of ice cream) in the sink in the morning. Several times it's been containers with left-overs from the night before. There have also been times where I was sure we had a whole package of lunch meat or cheese, and it's gone when I go to make lunches in the morning.

I had been assuming that my husband (who usually goes to bed after me) had been having a snack before bed. Now I'm thinking that it's actually me who's having the late-night snack without even knowing it! I haven't said anything to my husband about it. Hubby is a deep sleeper and probably wouldn't notice me getting in or out of bed, or making noise. I guess I've just been lucky so far that I haven't glutened myself.

I am pregnant, and have been gaining weight a lot more rapidly than my doc would like me to. I thought that I was eating healthily, but now I'm not so sure. I don't really know how often I'm doing this, or how much I'm eating when I do. But, based on the number of candy wrappers I found in front of me last night, I'm thinking these are probably full-out binges.

The weird thing is, I'm generally hungry in the morning, so I eat a normal breakfast. After my candy binge last night, I assumed that I would not be very hungry for breakfast this morning, but I woke up just as hungry as usual.

Does anyone have any ideas on how to stop sleep-eating? Is this something I need to see a doctor about? We have a large dog (90lbs) who wanders throughout the house at night, so I don't want to set up motion detectors or anything like that because he would set them off.

Please help. I don't want to keep doing this. It's really scary to think that I may be doing this almost every night without even knowing it. Also, it's probably only a matter of time before I eat something with gluten (I'm assuming that I'm not checking ingredients) and make myself sick.

Well, since the original poster hasn't been back, I'll respond in case someone else has this problem....

I have this problem too due to taking Ambien....I try to counteract it by placing notes in kitchen on fridge and cabinets which tell me not to eat AND by putting aside one snack only that I can have (use the notes to remind yourself that there's one snack for you). This might help you ....

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You need to talk to your doctor. I work in news and recently saw a story on this. Sleep-eating is a documented Sleeping disorder and it is treatable with medication.

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    • The anxiety thing is there I take teas, and supplements along with CBD oil to help with it, and long walks and exercise when I get antsy. As for the human interaction it is a mix of other mental issues, and the way I feel about people who can eat gluten. If they are not eating I have no issue talking with people. I mentioned I have issues accepting them as the same species when I see them eating. My reaction to gluten is so ingrained in me that it is not a food but a poison, that watching others eat it causes a subconscious reaction where I find myself avoiding them and looking down on them like something from another planet. I end up disgusted with them and walking away, I will go out of my way to avoid people and places where foods like this are present. This is my TRAUMA part of the gluten exposure, and one of the big things I am trying to address in my life right now. I know it is irrational to do so but I end up doing it, I have never cared about others race, religion, or looks, but if I see them eating a gluten/poison, it somehow changes how I perceive them and interact with them and I hate this part about me. It is taking a lot of mental effort to try to smile and treat them as a human, and not something to be looked down upon in disgust. I just recall that mental state that gluten puts me in with my mind and body turning against me and not doing what I will it and the fear comes back. This diet is pretty much like mine, I take Doctors best Magnesium powder in a tea that is actually brewed with st johns wort (never thought much of it) , I use Liquid Health Stress & Energy along with the Neurologic Support they have, twice-three times a day for B vitamins(along with a bunch of other supplements) . I can not digest meats or carbs well, meats it is a issue with breaking them down same with egg yolks, I literally just burp up the undigested meats hours later. I have found the only way to eat them is to boil/slow cook them til they melt then blend them into a broth and have it with digestive enzymes so only do it with turkey bacon, longhorn, and salmon in small amounts in soups or for flavoring stock for stir frys.  As for Carbs like rice and potatoes I end up getting really gassy and bloated, same with sugars in any amount greater then like the size of my thumb give or take. Oats I only have gluten-free Harvest in about a tbsp amount when tasting recipes of stuff I sell at farmers markets. So I eat mostly fats and protein from egg whites, nuts, seeds, veggies, and vegan protein powders blends balanced for complete proteins. I have at least 1-2 dried fig, dates, handful of banana chips, or a 1/4 of a small fruit with meals for fruits.  My meals are mostly egg white and veggie omelettes, stir frys, and soups, Always with lots of fats and proteins in each meal. I have found having nutritional yeast to help with my mood and energy levels also and find someway of having it in meals often. I keep my foods on rotation and keep getting updated feed back on ratios with my dietician. I also have a rather odd list of foods I can not eat due to allergies/intolerance.
    • It only takes a minute to make a difference. Celiac disease has been overshadowed by the gluten-free diet fad. Getting diagnosed and staying healthy is no piece of cake – those of us who have celiac disease struggle to stay healthy. We need better. We need to be understood. We need a cure. View the full article
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    • Advil (ibuprofen) is gluten-free, but can be a stomach irritant, especially if taken on an empty stomach. That said, I will also place my bet on the garlic and onions. As Raven said, eating more than once a day may also help. An empty stomach is likely to be an irritable stomach.
    • DaVinci's Pizza has several gluten-free items great gluten-free pizza (well done suggested) and they don't have anything with gluten that goes in the fryer, so wing and fries are great all salad dressing made in house and gluten-free.  Owners mom has Celiac so they're very empathetic. Cheers. And enjoy. I eat there all the time and have NEVER had an issue. And if someone just touches bread then prepares my food its all over for me 6-8 hrs of reaction for me. Also Jimmy Johns @ 17th and Peachtree Street also great just tellm'to change glove and ask for the paper to be placed on the sandwich board before they make it. Also never had an issue but I have only had the Italian style lettuce wrap. 
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