Types of Night Eating Syndrome Treatment

Treatment for night eating syndrome (NES) may vary among individuals affected by it. Depending on the complexity of the eating syndrome -including the emotional state of mind- several types of night eating syndrome treatment options may be available to help control NES. If you or a loved one suspect of having NES, then consulting with a medical professional should be a priority to avoid health complications from occurring.

According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, night eating syndrome is of importance clinically because of its association with obesity. The recognition and effective treatment of NES may be an increasingly important way to treat a subset of the obese population.

What Types of Night Eating Syndrome Treatment is Available?

While night eating syndrome has not been entered into DSM IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) as a mental disorder, it may meet the requirements of an eating disorder if diagnostic criteria is met. A full evaluation by a medical professional should be conducted to determine if you or a loved one may indeed suffer from NES and the possible cause behind it. Current types of treatment available to manage NES include:

  • Counseling: If an emotional problem has been recognized that triggers NES, counseling can help you get to the root cause of your feelings, whether it is depression, body image dissatisfaction, stress, or other mental issue. Counseling can be one-on-one or in group therapy sessions, which can help you or a loved one find support, talk about your disorder, and get ideas to help control your night eating problems.
  • Medications: Anxiety and depression can trigger nighttime eating. Some eat to feel better. For those that suffer from anxiety and depression, certain medicines, such as serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SRIs) can help improve the mood changes and control the urge to eat at night.

    night eating help

    Nutritional counseling and psychotherapy can help you overcome night eating syndrome.

  • Hormone supplements: If a chemical imbalance is present and is causing a disruption of your sleeping cycles, then a doctor may prescribe supplements to help balance the levels of melatonin and leptin -the natural chemicals that together play a role in suppressing appetite and promoting sleep.
  • Nutritional plan: To help avoid health complications that may arise from NES, a nutritionist or dietician can help you create meal plans that are healthier and promote a more effective approach to controlling night time eating syndrome, and also include exercise tips. Learning healthy eating habits and exercise skills can introduce ways to live a healthier lifestyle.

The night eating syndrome treatment methods mentioned above, may be used in combination with one another depending the individual, and the severity of the disorder. Careful attention to medical needs, nutritional requirements, along with effective counseling therapies can greatly improve the chances of overcoming night eating syndrome.

Health Concerns for Night Eating Syndrome

NES, if left untreated can cause a person to gain weight and can lead to obesity. This can cause health complications, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, stress, and other health dilemmas, including psychological problems due to lack of sleep. If you or a loved one is suffering from NES, seeking treatment is highly recommended. With proper treatment you can soon get back to a normal sleeping routine, develop better eating behavior, and mood levels can be improved.


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