Skip to main navigation Skip to main content Skip to footer For Medicare For Providers For Brokers For Employers Español For Individuals & Families: For Individuals & Families Medical Dental Other Supplemental Explore coverage through work How to Buy Health Insurance Types of Dental Insurance Open Enrollment vs. Special Enrollment See all topics Shop for Medicare plans Member Guide Find a Doctor Log in to myCigna
Home Knowledge Center Wellness Library Night Eating Syndrome

Night Eating Syndrome

Condition Basics

What is night eating syndrome?

Night eating syndrome is a condition in which people eat large amount of food after the evening meal, often waking up during the night to eat. People with this condition may delay their first meal of the day for many hours. And they may feel upset about their night eating.

What causes it?

Doctors are not sure what causes night eating syndrome. But some studies show that it may be related to problems with the sleep-wake cycle and certain hormones.

What are the symptoms?

People with night eating syndrome do remember eating during the night. They usually do not feel hungry in the early part of the day. They may delay their first meal of the day for many hours. Then later, after the evening meal, they may eat a large amount of food throughout the night.

This pattern of eating cannot be explained by changes in the person's sleep schedule or local social routines (for example, a custom of eating late at night). People with this problem feel upset about their night eating.

People with night eating syndrome also have sleep problems, including difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep. People with this problem are more likely to be obese. And depression is common in people who have night eating syndrome.

Night eating syndrome is different from binge eating disorder. People with binge eating disorder usually do not have episodes of binge eating during the night (10 p.m. to 6 a.m.). But if they do, they eat large amounts of food in a single sitting. People with night eating syndrome tend to eat smaller amounts of food many times during the night.

How is it diagnosed?

To find out if you have night eating syndrome, your doctor will ask questions about your medical history and eating patterns. Night eating syndrome often happens along with sleep problems, so your doctor may want to do tests of your sleep (polysomnography).

How is night eating syndrome treated?

There is no evidence-based treatment for night eating syndrome. But doctors have seen some success with cognitive-behavioral therapy and with antidepressants.

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated, disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. Learn how we develop our content.

© 1995-2022 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.

Related Links

Binge Eating Disorder

<cipublic-spinner variant="large"><span>Loading…</span></cipublic-spinner>

Page Footer

I want to...

Get an ID card File a claim View my claims and EOBs Check coverage under my plan See prescription drug list Find an in-network doctor, dentist, or facility Find a form Find 1095-B tax form information View the Cigna Glossary Contact Cigna

Audiences

Individuals and Families Medicare Employers Brokers Providers

Secure Member Sites

myCigna member portal Health Care Provider portal Cigna for Employers Client Resource Portal Cigna for Brokers

Cigna Company Information

About Cigna Company Profile Careers Newsroom Investors Suppliers Third Party Administrators International Evernorth

 Cigna. All rights reserved.

Privacy Legal Product Disclosures Cigna Company Names Customer Rights Accessibility Non-Discrimination Notice [PDF] Language Assistance [PDF] Report Fraud Sitemap

Disclaimer

Individual and family medical and dental insurance plans are insured by Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company (CHLIC), Cigna HealthCare of Arizona, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of Illinois, Inc., and Cigna HealthCare of North Carolina, Inc. Group health insurance and health benefit plans are insured or administered by CHLIC, Connecticut General Life Insurance Company (CGLIC), or their affiliates (see a listing of the legal entities  that insure or administer group HMO, dental HMO, and other products or services in your state). Accidental Injury, Critical Illness, and Hospital Care plans or insurance policies are distributed exclusively by or through operating subsidiaries of Cigna Corporation, are administered by Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company, and are insured by either (i) Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company (Bloomfield, CT); (ii) Life Insurance Company of North America (“LINA”) (Philadelphia, PA); or (iii) New York Life Group Insurance Company of NY (“NYLGICNY”) (New York, NY), formerly known as Cigna Life Insurance Company of New York. The Cigna name, logo, and other Cigna marks are owned by Cigna Intellectual Property, Inc. LINA and NYLGICNY are not affiliates of Cigna.

All insurance policies and group benefit plans contain exclusions and limitations. For availability, costs and complete details of coverage, contact a licensed agent or Cigna sales representative. This website is not intended for residents of New Mexico.

Selecting these links will take you away from Cigna.com to another website, which may be a non-Cigna website. Cigna may not control the content or links of non-Cigna websites. Details