It’s completely normal to once in a while find ourselves munching on a midnight snack in the middle of the night. However, if you find yourself having a pattern in awakening and eating regularly at night then I think you might just have a problem.
Night Eating Syndrome (NES) is a serious diagnosis where people eat more than 25% of their total daily calories after dinner, either they overeat at night or wake up to eat throughout the night.
People who struggle with night eating behaviors often end up feeling shameful and guilty. As a consequence, they end up making excuses by saying they lack sleep or have mood swings.
This syndrome can be treated naturally at home if you set your mind to changing your daily lifestyle a little. Here are some of our home remedies to Night Eating Syndrome that has been proven to help with this diagnosis.
Space Out Your Meals
One of the main things about people with this syndrome is their lack of appetite. Most times during the day, you’d find yourself not having an appetite for breakfast or even lunch. Planning your meals can help you build your appetite.
Apart from that, it stretches out your food intake throughout the day so that you will be less hungry at night. Try to space out time in between your meals, perhaps once you have breakfast, leave a two to a three-hour gap before snacking on something then an hour or so gap again before lunchtime.
Snacking frequently can help a whole lot with increasing your appetite but make sure your snacks are healthy. Structuring your meals can help improve your sleeping patterns as well.
Getting good sleep is essential when it comes to managing your food intake and weight. Spacing out and planning your meals decreases the chances of eating on impulse and making poor food choices.
Create a Routine
Sleep deprivation or poor sleeping habits can lead to higher calorie intake and poor quality diets. If this goes on for too long, poor sleep can not only increase the risk of obesity but as well as other diseases that may be detrimental to overall mental and physical wellbeing.
Give yourself a wind-down time of 45 to 60 minutes with no screens before going to bed – this will support your body to produce melatonin and automatically make you sleepy.
Try to build a bedtime routine that fits you, and at the same time, creates a habit that signals sleep. Apart from turning screens off, you can read a book in low light, journal or even listen to some soothing music.
Test what works for you and soon enough you will see the difference in your sleeping pattern. Do not train your body to lay or be awake in bed. Associating your bed with sleep is very important so make sure you are not in bed until you feel sleepy.
De-Stress and Relax
It’s proven that anxiety and stress are two of the most popular causes of why people eat when they are not especially hungry. People with this habit often use food to curb their emotions. Rather, you need to activate your body’s natural relaxation response, a state of deep rest that helps deal with the stress.
Thus, deep breathing can slow down your nervous system and help you calm down because of the extra boost in the oxygen you get from taking those deep breaths. Other than that, there are several other relaxation techniques like meditating, yoga, rhythmic exercise, hot baths, or exercise that is proven to help with stress.
You can easily take one of these methods up before or after your sleeping time. Always remember to find the one technique that resonates with your lifestyle and be sure that it is something you like. This means you need to test the waters as to which technique is best suited for you.
It’s important to know that you are not alone when trying to combat this syndrome. Do not let the feeling of being ashamed or guilt stop you from trying to overcome it. Always remember that these home remedies might not work wonders overnight but with persistence, we assure you that you will see improvements.