Psychopathology and treatment of night eating syndrome: a review

Eat Weight Disord. 2008 Jun;13(2):54-63. doi: 10.1007/BF03327604.


The article reviews the international literature about psychopathological aspects and treatments of Night Eating Syndrome (NES). Studies were found using Medline; data from recent international books and conferences about ED are included, but single case descriptions are not included in the study. NES seems to be consistently related to mood disorders and anxiety. There is a low overlap between other eating disorders, including binge eating disorder (BED), and NES. The relationship between the syndrome and substance abuse is unclear and needs further study. Sleep architecture seems not to be severely altered among those with NES. A limited number of treatment studies for NES have been published or presented. Most of the literature focuses on pharmacological treatment, with fewer psychotherapeutic approaches reported at this time. Larger, multi-site treatment studies would serve to confirm the findings of this first wave of clinical trials.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anxiety Disorders / diagnosis
  • Anxiety Disorders / psychology
  • Anxiety Disorders / therapy
  • Bulimia Nervosa / diagnosis
  • Bulimia Nervosa / psychology
  • Bulimia Nervosa / therapy
  • Circadian Rhythm*
  • Comorbidity
  • Feeding Behavior
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / diagnosis
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / psychology*
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / therapy
  • Humans
  • Hydrocortisone / blood
  • Hyperphagia / diagnosis
  • Hyperphagia / psychology
  • Hyperphagia / therapy
  • Mood Disorders / diagnosis
  • Mood Disorders / psychology
  • Mood Disorders / therapy
  • Parasomnias / diagnosis
  • Parasomnias / psychology
  • Parasomnias / therapy
  • Psychopathology
  • Stress, Psychological / complications
  • Substance-Related Disorders / diagnosis
  • Substance-Related Disorders / prevention & control
  • Substance-Related Disorders / psychology
  • Syndrome


  • Hydrocortisone