Sleepwalking is one thing. But sleepEATING is something else entirely.
1. This is Kate Archibald, a 20-year-old student at the University of Aberdeen, who eats in her sleep. So much so that she once ate an entire wheel of cheese.
The third-year philosophy student told The Tab she walks over to the fridge and, while still asleep, eats its contents.
“It was only when I woke up one morning surrounded by chocolate bar wrappers that I realised I must have been sleep-eating,” she says.
“One of my friends gave me a whole wheel of cheese and I managed to eat it during my sleep.”
She said she started eating the odd thing in her sleep while at boarding school, but this has escalated into what she terms “nocturnal eating disorder” (NED).
She said she used to take Adderall, a drug proscribed for ADHD, to combat her appetite.
2. Archibald said she noticed she’d started to put on some weight as a result.
“I’ve also being going to the gym a lot more. Before we googled NED, my mum criticised me saying that the gym wasn’t helping and I still looked the same — I had no idea what was happening!” she said.
She’s eaten through spaghetti bolognaise, toast, a big bar of chocolate bought by a flatmate’s boyfriend as a gift and says she regularly has to replace her flatmates’ food.
4. Archibald also said she’s done this trick at other people’s houses:
She rummaged around in a friend’s fridge while staying over and helped herself to his lunch:
I tried to play it off that it wasn’t me, but he realised that it probably was me because the food had been moved around in the fridge
His lovely meal had been moved from the back of the fridge to the front and half of it was missing.
Nocturnal eating disorder, or sleep-related eating disorder, has been described as where “nocturnal partial arousals are followed by rapid ingestion of food and subsequent poor memory for the episode.”
More common is “night eating disorder” where the eater is fully awake but binge-eats at night. A study of 1,600 US university students published in the Journal of Adolescent Health, found that “close to 4% of students met night eating syndrome criteria”.