Sleep-related eating disorder is also known as or subsumes Nocturnal binge eating. -ed.
Dr. Provini and Dr. Antelmi of the IRCCS Institute of Neurological Sciences of Bologna and Department of Biomedical and NeuroMotor Neurological Sciences, University of Bologna, review the clinical features of sleep-related eating disorder and highlight the problem of differential diagnosis with nocturnal eating syndromes. Sleep-related eating disorder is now classified within the parasomnias and best conceptualized as a disorder of arousal, whereas nocturnal eating syndrome has been characterized as a circadian delay of food intake with normal circadian timing of sleep onset. The level of consciousness during episodes of nocturnal eating, almost impaired in sleep-related eating disorder and spared in night eating syndrome, is considered the main difference between the two disorders. Associated with psychotropic medications and with restless legs syndrome, narcolepsy, sleepwalking, or other parasomnias, nocturnal eating disorders may be amenable to treatment with dopaminergic agents, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or topiramate