Optimal management of night eating syndrome: challenges and solutions

Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat. 2015 Mar 19;11:751-60. doi: 10.2147/NDT.S70312. eCollection 2015.

Abstract

Night Eating Syndrome (NES) is a unique disorder characterized by a delayed pattern of food intake in which recurrent episodes of nocturnal eating and/or excessive food consumption occur after the evening meal. NES is a clinically important disorder due to its relationship to obesity, its association with other psychiatric disorders, and problems concerning sleep. However, NES often goes unrecognized by both health professionals and patients. The lack of knowledge regarding NES in clinical settings may lead to inadequate diagnoses and inappropriate treatment approaches. Therefore, the proper diagnosis of NES is the most important issue when identifying NES and providing treatment for this disorder. Clinical assessment tools such as the Night Eating Questionnaire may help health professionals working with populations vulnerable to NES. Although NES treatment studies are still in their infancy, antidepressant treatments and psychological therapies can be used for optimal management of patients with NES. Other treatment options such as melatonergic medications, light therapy, and the anticonvulsant topiramate also hold promise as future treatment options. The purpose of this review is to provide a summary of NES, including its diagnosis, comorbidities, and treatment approaches. Possible challenges addressing patients with NES and management options are also discussed.

Keywords: depression; night eating; obesity; psychiatric disorders; weight.

Publication types

  • Review