Hunger is an awakening related biological impulse. The relationship between hunger and sleep is moderated by the control of homeostatic and circadian rhytms of the body. Abnormal eating behavior during sleep period could result from different causes. Abnormal eating during the main sleep period has been categorized as either night eating syndrome or sleep related eating disorder. Night eating syndrome (NES) is an eating disorder characterised by the clinical features of morning anorexia, evening hyperphagia, and insomnia with awakenings followed by nocturnal food ingestion. Recently night eating syndrome, conceptualized as a delayed circadian intake of food. Sleep-related eating disorder, thought to represent a parasomnia and as such included within the revised International Classification of Sleep Disorders (ICSD-2), and characterized by nocturnal partial arousals associated with recurrent episodes of involuntary food consumption and altered levels of consciousness. Whether, however, sleep-related eating disorder and night eating syndrome represent different diseases or are part of a continuum is still debated. This review summarizes their characteristics, treatment outcomes and differences between them.
Night eating syndrome, sleep-related eating disorder, obesity