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Sleep Eating - What Can I Do To Stop?


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#1 mommyagain

 
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Posted 01 November 2007 - 10:37 AM

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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#2 Ursa Major

 
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Posted 01 November 2007 - 11:32 AM

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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I am a German citizen, married to a Canadian 29 years, four daughters, one son, seven granddaughters and four grandsons, with one more grandchild on the way in July 2009.

Intolerant to all lectins (including gluten), nightshades (potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant) and salicylates.

Asperger Syndrome, Tourette Syndrome, Addison's disease (adrenal insufficiency), hypothyroidism, fatigue syndrome, asthma

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#3 Nancym

 
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Posted 01 November 2007 - 12:27 PM

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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#4 mommyagain

 
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Posted 01 November 2007 - 12:32 PM

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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#5 Ursa Major

 
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Posted 01 November 2007 - 07:32 PM

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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I am a German citizen, married to a Canadian 29 years, four daughters, one son, seven granddaughters and four grandsons, with one more grandchild on the way in July 2009.

Intolerant to all lectins (including gluten), nightshades (potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant) and salicylates.

Asperger Syndrome, Tourette Syndrome, Addison's disease (adrenal insufficiency), hypothyroidism, fatigue syndrome, asthma

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#6 mommyagain

 
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Posted 02 November 2007 - 10:16 AM

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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#7 Idiote Savante Goddess

 
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Posted 03 November 2007 - 09:18 AM

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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#8 Ridgewalker

 
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Posted 03 November 2007 - 12:02 PM

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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-Sarah

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--Son, Ezra, age 5. Gluten-free 10/13/07. Bipolar tendencies, massively improved on gluten-free diet! He's also allergic to a jillion antibiotics.
--My mother has Celiac Disease, dx'ed by Positive Blood Tests and Biopsy. Diagnosed Sarcoidosis 6/08.
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Time heals all hurt of heart... but time must be won.

#9 ravenwoodglass

 
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Posted 04 November 2007 - 07:03 AM

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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Courage does not always roar, sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying
"I will try again tommorrow" (Mary Anne Radmacher)


celiac 49 years - Misdiagnosed for 45
Blood tested and repeatedly negative
Diagnosed by Allergist with elimination diet and diagnosis confirmed by GI in 2002
Misdiagnoses for 15 years were IBS-D, ataxia, migraines, anxiety, depression, fibromyalgia, parathesias, arthritis, livedo reticularis, hairloss, premature menopause, osteoporosis, kidney damage, diverticulosis, prediabetes and ulcers, dermatitis herpeformis
All bold resoved or went into remission with proper diagnosis of Celiac November 2002
Some residual nerve damage remains as of 2006- this has continued to resolve after eliminating soy in 2007

Mother died of celiac related cancer at 56
Twin brother died as a result of autoimmune liver destruction at age 15

Children 2 with Ulcers, GERD, Depression, , 1 with DH, 1 with severe growth stunting (male adult 5 feet)both finally diagnosed Celiac through blood testing and 1 with endo 6 months after Mom


Positive to Soy and Casien also Aug 2007

Gluten Sensitivity Gene Test Aug 2007
HLA-DQB1 Molecular analysis, Allele 1 0303

HLA-DQB1 Molecular analysis, Allele 2 0303

Serologic equivalent: HLA-DQ 3,3 (Subtype 9,9)

#10 MD123

 
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Posted 04 November 2007 - 01:22 PM

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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#11 mommyagain

 
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Posted 04 November 2007 - 02:16 PM

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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#12 needtobebetter

 
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Posted 18 October 2008 - 12:56 PM

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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#13 Swimmr

 
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Posted 20 October 2008 - 04:40 AM

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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-Self-diagnosed gluten/wheat intolerance 2007. Negative (basic) blood test for celiac disease March 2009.
-Diagnosed positive for Celiac 5/11/2010!!
-Vitamin D low (last year was deficient), Iodine low, Protein S low. Balance/dizziness not related to Celiac.
-Elimination diet 11-4-2009 and ended 02-28-2010. Tolerating dairy again. Highly intolerant to soy, sensitive to green peas and corn kernels.
"Oh CRAP! Are you SERIOUS??

#14 Swimmr

 
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Posted 20 October 2008 - 04:44 AM

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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-Self-diagnosed gluten/wheat intolerance 2007. Negative (basic) blood test for celiac disease March 2009.
-Diagnosed positive for Celiac 5/11/2010!!
-Vitamin D low (last year was deficient), Iodine low, Protein S low. Balance/dizziness not related to Celiac.
-Elimination diet 11-4-2009 and ended 02-28-2010. Tolerating dairy again. Highly intolerant to soy, sensitive to green peas and corn kernels.
"Oh CRAP! Are you SERIOUS??

#15 Swimmr

 
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Posted 20 October 2008 - 04:57 AM

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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-Self-diagnosed gluten/wheat intolerance 2007. Negative (basic) blood test for celiac disease March 2009.
-Diagnosed positive for Celiac 5/11/2010!!
-Vitamin D low (last year was deficient), Iodine low, Protein S low. Balance/dizziness not related to Celiac.
-Elimination diet 11-4-2009 and ended 02-28-2010. Tolerating dairy again. Highly intolerant to soy, sensitive to green peas and corn kernels.
"Oh CRAP! Are you SERIOUS??




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