Magazine article Nutrition Health Review

Overeating in Your Sleep?

Magazine article Nutrition Health Review

Overeating in Your Sleep?

Article excerpt

Are you an unconscious food junkie?

You're gaining lots of weight. Yet you tell your friends and family "but I hardly eat a thing!"

There's an apparent mystery here. But the dieter isn't necessarily telling a "white lie." He or she could be raiding the refrigerator unconsciously -- in his sleep.

A recent report by Minneapolis researchers in the journal Sleep describes 19 adults who habitually ate while sleeping. According to the American Sleep Disorders Association (ASDA) which publishes the journal:

"These people often ate huge quantities of food, sometimes complete meals and unusual foods such as cat food or buttered cigaretts."

In one case cited by the medical researchers, a woman awakened while struggling to open a bottle of ammonia cleaning fluid, which she was about to drink.

"Most ate sloppily," the researchers report, "cramming in spaghetti with

their hands, for example. And most had little or no memory of their bizarre activity in the morning."

How can such dieters while claiming to be faithfully sticking to their diets, know whether or not they too are eating unknowingly?

A check-list would include: Do you discover remains of food in your bed, on your nightclothes or in the kitchen? Do you find that food you know was on hand the night before has somehow vanished?

Among the patients studied, such behavioral problems prompted them to seek help from psychiatrist Carlos Schenk and his colleagues at the Minnesota Regional Sleep Disorders Center. …

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