The Night Eating Syndrome: An Overview
Research on the Night Eating Syndrome (NES) has advanced significantly since its introduction to the literature over 50 years ago. Currently, NES is conceptualized as a delay in the circadian intake of food and is manifested by two core criteria: evening hyperphagia and/or nocturnal ingestions of food. Recently, standardized research diagnostic criteria for NES have been developed which will help further research on this condition. This chapter provides an overview of NES, beginning with the development of its conceptualization from 1955 to the present. The recently proposed research diagnostic criteria are reviewed, prevalence and comorbidity are described, hypothesized etiology and pathophysiology are presented, and its possible health consequences are outlined. Finally, this chapter reviews assessment and treatment options for NES and presents future directions needed to further characterize the nutritional, behavioral, and neurobiological aspects of NES.
KeywordsAnorexia Nervosa Eating Disorder Bulimia Nervosa Binge Eating Disorder Nocturnal Awakening
Binge Eating Disorder
Night Eating Diagnostic Questionnaire
Night Eating Questionnaire
Night Eating Syndrome
Night Eating Syndrome History and Inventory
Structured Clinical Interview for the DSM
Sleep-related Eating Disorder
Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor
The author would like to thank Drs. Albert Sunkard, Kelly Allison, and John O’Reardon for their collaboration and mentorship, as well as their many contributions to the NES literature.