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Peanut

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So I am having this annoying problem and I have sought help with it to no avail, and I thought I might pose it to you guys to see if I get any new ideas. Ever since I started taking a certain medication I have been getting up in the middle of the night and eating. I have addressed this problem with the doctor and they have counteracted the appetite increase with another medication, but I still have this super annoying habit of eating in the middle of the night. I do it practically every night. Pretty much the only suggestion that I have not tried is getting locks on my cupboards, and I'm not sure if that would work since I would have the key anyway. This has been going on for quite sometime. I think it is almost a habit now, like my body now thinks that midnight is the time to get up and eat a meal. I have been able to compensate for this caloric intake in other ways, but I'm just wondering if there are any other ideas. I'm really at a loss here. It's also like I have lost all the willpower at night so I'm not thinking very clearly. What on earth can I do about this?
 

Peanut

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The medication that started this whole midnight eating is Remeron, originally 15mg, then increased to 45mg (which they assured me would not increase my appetite more). I take it before I go to bed. Along with that, to counteract this, I take Topamax, which was started at 25mg to see if that helped, and now has eventually ended up at 100mg at night with the Remeron.

The result is that I don't overeat during the day but I still get the night eating.
 

Daniel

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If you eat a large meal before going to sleep, are you less likely to wake up at midnight?

I have been able to compensate for this caloric intake in other ways...
Yes, in theory and even in practice, one can eat a higher volume of food and actually lose weight. Some of my personal favorites of higher-volume, lower-calorie foods:

- All the tomatoes one can eat (chilled, sliced and served with salt and balsamic vinegar)
- Bowls of home-made, low-calorie vegetable soup [made with lower-sodium bullion]
- Salad with more vinegar than oil
- Dannon "Light & Fit" yogurt at 90 calories per cup
- a 100-calorie bag of microwave popcorn
- High protein foods like egg omelettes

Another, obvious way to reduce the power of cravings is not to buy processed foods at the grocery store, buying more produce instead.

Personally, when I took Remeron, I didn't have food cravings but I felt sleepy all the time. So, after several weeks of somnolence, I moved onto Wellbutrin.
 

Peanut

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Thanks Daniel. I have found that eating before I go to bed makes no difference whatsoever, even if I overeat for a special occasion I will still get up and eat:eek:

Those are some great food suggestions. I have removed most of the food from my house. I think what your suggestions made me realize is that maybe the best solution for me is to just have foods that I don't like that much around, such as fruit, so I won't be tempted to overeat them. It is like I'm not thinking, so if I get up to get food and only find a banana, maybe eventually it will discourage the habit. I am definitely going to try that!!!

I did try those 100 calorie bags and then I would eat 3 bags plus some crackers!!

I agree about the vinegar, I have stopped using oil and only use vinegar. This has gotten to the point where I either skip breakfast or dinner because I eat a meal during the night. I'd much rather eat it during the day. Thank you so much for the suggestions, I'm really going to try taking all of the normal food out of my house and only having fruit here and see what happens. Then, I will eat my normal food during the day from other places and not take the leftovers. I'm excited that this may stop the night binges!
 

bbjjre

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I was midnight (or should I say 2 am eating) before I found out that I had a thyroid disorder. I was eating "anything" with sugar in it and I was getting up at least twice a night to rot my teeth out with sugar!
 

Misha

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Arose, I just wanted to say that I understand how frustrating and emotional your problem is. I am a bulimic/anorexic/whatever and have struggled with night eating and sleep eating at times when my binge drive is out of control. Are you actually waking up to eat or not? I usually don't. The scariest thing for me was that I never knew then if I kept the food down or not, but I'm assuming you don't have that part of the problem. I hope that you can find a solution to this problem. I will ask my doctor for suggestions for you. He specializes in this kind of stuff and is very good.
 

Peanut

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Thank you both for your posts. I have actually had my thyroid checked and it was normal.

Misha, your question about being awake or not is an interesting one, because I would say it's somewhere in between...not totally awake or not totally asleep. Then if I don't get up and get something I wake up all the way and can't sleep. If you end up being able to get advice from your expert that would be GREATLY appreciated. This problem is really bothersome to me and I would be really interested to hear what he had to say about it.

Thank you guys so much! :heart:
 

HA

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Arose, I found this article about night eating from Web Med:

Body's Food Cycle Amiss in Night Eaters
Antidepressant Zoloft Improves Symptoms of Night Eating Syndrome

WebMD Medical NewsOct. 16, 2003 -- Night eating syndrome is commonly seen in overweight people. And new research shows that the cause may be an abnormal food cycle in the body.

Researchers say that people with night eating syndrome appear to have disturbed circadian rhythms of food intake. Circadian rhythms are the cycle that your body operates on -- your body's 24-hour clock.

Night eating syndrome is seen in about 6% of people who seek treatment for obesity, according to Albert Stunkard, MD, emeritus director of the Weight and Eating Disorders Program at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. Night eating syndrome may also run in families.

First described by Stunkard in 1955, night eating syndrome may be stress related and is often accompanied by depression. Individuals with the disorder eat one-third or more of their daily calories after their eveningmeal, sometimes rising from their beds once or twice a night to snack.
{See remainder of article at link in title}

There are some reccomendations in this one:

NIGHT EATING SYNDROME

Night eating syndrome (NES) is not an official type of eating disorder listed in the Diagnostic Criteria, but it is a very common problem and may be one of the more frequent causes of obesity. NES is a stress-related eating, sleeping and mood disorder that is associated with disordered neuroendocrine function.

Statistics:

About 1-2 percent of the general population have severe impairments caused by night food craving.
More than 5 percent of the patients seeking therapy for obesity report symptoms of this syndrome.


  • NES symptoms can range from:
  • occasional nighttime bouts of overeating
  • Nightly binges.
  • At its extreme, the syndrome has these symptoms:
  • skipping breakfast at least four times per week.
  • Consuming more than half of daily calories after 7 p.m.
  • Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep more than four nights per week.
  • Nighttime depression is also very common.

Here's what experts say can help with out-of-control nighttime eating:

  1. Eat breakfast. Most people with NES aren't hungry in the morning. But if they can learn to stomach a morning meal, it can help stop their nighttime overeating, says psychologist Marci Gluck at the New York Obesity Research Center at St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital.
  2. Control portions. If you find yourself succumbing to the urge for evening noshing, have some food. Just measure out portions and stop when that portion is finished.
  3. Keep trigger foods out of the house. You know best what food is likely to call to you at your weakest moment. So load up on low-calorie, filling fare (raw veggies, fruit, soup) that can be consumed if the urge to eat surfaces. And there's no need to avoid favorite foods altogether: Just buy a single serving that can be eaten once or twice a week.
  4. Find alternatives to eating. Gluck advises her patients to make a list of nonfood-related activities that they can do when the urge for nighttime eating hits. Take a walk. Knit. Call a friend. Work on a photo album. Do a few push-ups or sit-ups.
  5. Brush your teeth immediately after dinner. It's one way to signal your brain that the meal -- and eating for the day -- is over
 

Daniel

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The article does have some good, common sense advice for managing cravings. Of course, in this case, it's more likely the food cravings are due to Remeron's well-known side effect of increasing appetite and weight gain. My mother used to work in a nursing home as a dietitian and Remeron's side effect of increasing appetite was sometimes beneficial.
 

Peanut

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Thank you, I agree it is due to the Remeron but the suggestions are well received on my end. I am willing to try anything. As the article states, this night eating thing can lead to weight gain and I would like to not have that happen so I am grateful for the suggestions. I always do end up skipping breakfast and sometimes dinner to accomodate these night binges so it sounds like I need to break that cycle by 1) removing food I like to eat from the house and replacing it with fruit and veggies and 2) trying to eat small amounts during the day.

I am seriously going to try it and see how it goes. I"m on my last leg with this stuff so it's worth a try.

Thank you very much! I will try it! Thanks again! :)

I will also add that I will put some reading material by my bed so I will have something to do if I wake up. Maybe that will also help.
 
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Peanut

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Hi all, I just had to come on here and say that I have tried everything and have decided that nothing works! This Remeron is just too powerful! It ended up that I was consuming about 80% of my caloric intake during the middle of the night! That leaves me with almost nothing during the day. Anyhow, I have decided to drop the Remeron. I just can't cope with this side effect!!! It is sooo strange to eat that much in the middle of the night. I swear this drug gave me binge eating disorder...I just can't stand it anymore--good bye Remeron, hello normal eating!!

Thank you all for your suggestions. I sincerely hope this is the end of this night eating saga <this is me crossing my fingers, toes, and everything else!!> I wonder how long it will take to wear off...:confused:
 

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