Night Eating Syndrome

Night eating syndrome (NES) is an eating disorder, characterized by a delayed circadian pattern of food intake.[1] Although there is some degree of comorbidity with binge eating disorder,[1] it differs from binge eating in that the amount of food consumed in the night is not necessarily objectively large nor is a loss of control over food intake required. It was originally described by Albert Stunkard in 1955[2] and is currently included in the other specified feeding or eating disorder category of the DSM-5.[3] Research diagnostic criteria have been proposed[1] and include evening hyperphagia (consumption of 25% or more of the total daily calories after the evening meal) and/or nocturnal awakening and ingestion of food two or more times per week. The person must have awareness of the night eating to differentiate it from the parasomnia sleep-related eating disorder (SRED). Three of five associated symptoms must also be present: lack of appetite in the morning, urges to eat at night, belief that one must eat in order to fall back to sleep at night, depressed mood, and/or difficulty sleeping.


Cluster Number:
Wiki Number: PW135
Diagnosis: Night Eating Syndrome
US Patients: 1-2%; approximately 10% of obese persons
World Patients:
Sex Ratio:
Age Onset:
Brain Area: Reduced serotonin in the brain may be a factor
Symptoms: lack of morning appetite; urges to eat at night; belief in needing to eat to fall back asleep; depression; 
difficulty sleeping
Progression: likely have 25+% of calories consumed after the evening meal; occurs more than twiceor more per week
Causes: The person is fully awake while eating, this is not “sleep-eating.”
Therapies: Eating foods high in serotonin (bananas) or tryptophan (turkey) , but these do not affect serotonin or
 tryptophan in the brain


The world-wide medical research
reports chosen for each diagnosis 

Clicking each title opens the
PubMed article’s summary-abstract.

  • Digital Addiction and Sleep
    by Birgitta Dresp-Langley on June 10, 2022

    In 2020, the World Health Organization formally recognized addiction to digital technology (connected devices) as a worldwide problem, where excessive online activity and internet use lead to inability to manage time, energy, and attention during daytime and produce disturbed sleep patterns or insomnia during nighttime. Recent studies have shown that the problem has increased in magnitude worldwide during the COVID-19 pandemic. The extent to which dysfunctional sleep is a consequence of altered...

  • Can night eating syndrome and sleep quality have strong relations with quality of life in early adulthood?
    by P Hamurcu on May 21, 2022

    Sleeping disorders can impair sleeping efficiency and lead to eating disorders and night eating syndrome. Eating disorders and night eating syndrome can be considered as factors that reduce the quality of life. The aim of the study was to investigate the effects of eating and sleeping disorders, and night eating syndrome, on quality of life. Material and methods. The sample of the descriptive, cross-sectional research was comprised of 846 students, who were studying at Uskudar University in the...

  • Diagnosing a nocturnal eating disorder in an average-weight man
    by Arthur Arcaz on April 29, 2022

    A middle-aged man of average weight presented to the sleep medicine clinic for multiple episodes of nocturnal eating during night-time awakenings for the past several months. His symptoms were more characteristic of night eating syndrome rather than sleep-related eating disorder because of his recollection of the eating episodes and intake of edible substances during these episodes. He was treated with a low dose of sertraline with an initial improvement of symptoms followed by a relapse that...

  • Behavioral factors associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection in Japan
    by Takeshi Arashiro on April 26, 2022

    CONCLUSIONS: We identified multiple behavioral factors associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection, many of which were in line with the policy/risk communication implemented in Japan. Rapid assessment of risk factors can inform decision making.