Many people complain of frequent hunger pangs during the day, which make it difficult to persevere on the diet and maintain a slim figure.Some people have an even bigger problem because a strong appetite also appears at night, inducing them to snack in a time that is designed for sleep and relaxation.Contrary to appearances, this is not a matter of bad eating habits, just a eating disorder, referred to as a nighttime eating syndrome, or NES (night eating syndrome)

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You should read it: How to stop eating at night

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Causes of NES

Night food syndrome to a condition that is most likely to be genetic, but it also promotes sleep disorders, stress and withdrawal of stimulants.Studies on night eating syndrome were carried out for the first time in the 1950s.It turned out that most people affected by this disease remember about night snacking, but some do not remember that they were reaching for food at night.Some specialists have proposed that persons belonging to the second group should be classified as patients suffering from unconscious feasting, or SRED (sleep related eating disorder).However, not everyone uses the division into NES and SRED, tripping both disorders as one condition.Until now, abnormal melatonin and leptin have been observed in the subjects.Melatonin is a sleep hormone whose low level causes waking up at night.Leptin is responsible for maintaining sleep, and at the same time for the feeling of appetite.If the level of this hormone is reduced, the quality of sleep deteriorates and the appetite increases at night.Some scientists have a different opinion about the relationship between NES and endocrine disrupting hormones, recognizing hormone fluctuations as a result, not as the reason for the nighttime food team.Night eating syndrome is aproblem that affects 1-2% of people.It is usually diagnosed in people who are overweight and obese, which is perfectly understandable given the fact that the main effect of the disease is weight gain.However, not everyone who goes up at night suffers from NES.Among the diagnostic criteria there is a tendency not to eat breakfast, worsening mood with the passage of the day and eating at least half of the daily energy dose in the evening.

Methods of treatment

One of the methods of treatment of night eating syndrome is to maintain a high level of serotonin hormone, which is responsible for proper sleep and good mood, and its deficiency leads to hunger pangs.Serotonin is synthesized from tryptophan, which is found among others in soy, sesame, pumpkin, semolina, almonds, nuts, yellow and white cheese and cocoa.Such foods should be consumed primarily in the afternoon and evening.The level of tryptophan can be increased also by meals with a high glycemic index that increases insulin secretion and, as a result, improves the transfer of tryptophan to the brain.In avoiding nocturnal hunger attacks, a healthy lifestyle helps, especially good nutrition.People affected by NES should consume 4-5 daily meals at regular intervals, including an easy to digest dinner 2-3 hours before bedtime.It is also important to play a sport that oxygenates the body and airing the room before going to sleep and quieting before the night rest.

Nighttime eating syndrome makes it difficult to maintain the right weight, but it is not an obstacle that can not be overcome.Therefore, it should not be an excuse to lose weight, especially in the case of significant overweight or obesity.In case of problems with refraining from snacking at night, the best solution is consultation with a dietitian.

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Read also: Bedtime and sleep duration – impact on your health

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