Individuals with this often serious disorder may initially experience some sleepwalking without eating, but then develop a pattern of bizarre eating in sleep:
- Typically high carbohydrate foods–which are eaten sloppily in large quantities.
- The behaviors are frequently nightly with resulting weight gain and increased risk of diabetes and dental caries.
- Most have no awareness of the abnormal behavior while it is occurring and may resist efforts to make them stop eating.
- A minority have histories of eating disorders in wakefulness.
- It can be caused by sleeping pills, such as Ambien, and by sedating antidepressant medications.
- It sometimes is associated with Sleep apnea.
Treatment is available.