P'shaw (pshaw_raven) wrote in seventh_horse,

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Midnight Snacks

"During a five-year period (1985-1990) nineteen adults came to our center for evaluation of involuntary sleep-related eating. Most patients also reported histories of complex and injurious non-eating nocturnal behaviors, including sleepwalking.

During their sleep-related eating episodes, the majority of patients binged on high-calorie foods and often prepared entire meals; others ate modest snacks such as cold cereal. Impaired judgement and sloppiness were common, as patients ate raw or cooked food with their hands, poured food on themselves, attempted to drink ammonia cleaning solution, dropped food on the floor, or took items out of the freezer and scattered them around the house. They also indiscriminately put large quantities of sugar or salt on food, and ate butter and sugar by the spoonful.

The impulsive consumption of very hot beverages or oatmeal led to scalding injuries. Several patients lacerated their digits while cutting food. Frenzied running to the kitchen resulted in collisions with furniture, doors, and walls. Disinhibited eating extended to non-nutritive ingredients (e.g., cigarettes).

Dreamlike mental imagery could accompany such activity,as with one patient who carried letuce around the house while dreaming of finding a safe place for it. Another patient dressed up for a dinner party and then ate while dreaming that the guests arrived."

Carlos H. Schenck, Thomas D. Hurwitz, Scott R. Bundlie, and Mark W. Mahowald, "Sleep-Related Eating Disorders," Sleep. October 1991
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