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A 30-year-old male asked:

Why might a mid-sleep wake up and snack be a result of a psychiatric disorder & not a biological issue? anxiety was suggested, why that over another cause? what else might be happening? thanks.

4 doctor answers11 doctors weighed in
Dr. Pamela Pappas
Psychiatry 43 years experience
No separation: There's not really a separation between "psychiatric" and "biological, " because psychiatric conditions have biological aspects. Also other medical problems that most people think have no associated psychiatric symptoms, at least have emotional responses. Waking up and snacking, if extreme, could be part of binge eating. I've also known people who did this when sleepwalking, a parasomnia.
Dr. Gabriela Cora
Psychiatry 33 years experience
Sleep/Eating Habits: Waking up mid-sleep and snacking would not be the result of a psychiatric disorder on their own (btw, a psychiatric disorder is a biological disorder). If you have been doing this for a while you may have formed a habit. What is your glucose level? Are you drinking alcohol at night? Are you anxious at all when you wake up? Do you have panic attacks? Do you take diuretics? Check those first.
Dr. Donald Jacobson
A Verified Doctor commented
A US doctor answered Learn more
Sleep eating disorder
Sep 17, 2013
Dr. Krishna Kumar
Psychiatry 56 years experience
Thanks for asking!: Mid sleep wake up can be due to different disorders mid sleep wake up with snack is most likely due to anxiety disorder.
Dr. Donald Jacobson
A Verified Doctor commented
A US doctor answered Learn more
Dr. Lunar, can you please provide a literature reference to back up that assertion?
Sep 24, 2013
Dr. Donald Jacobson
A Verified Doctor commented
A US doctor answered Learn more
Sorry, meant to type Dr. Kumar but spell check changed it and I did not see that happen.
Sep 24, 2013
Dr. Donald Jacobson
A Verified Doctoranswered
41 years experience
SRED: This is known as sred or sleep related eating disorder. Gabapentin can greatly raise your appetite and might be one of the contributing factors. Another anticonvulsant, topamax, (topiramate) so far has some of the most promising results in the treatment of this disorder. Best wishes to you. En.Wikipedia.Org/.../nocturnal_sleep_related_eating_disorder psychotherapy has offered very little in the treatment of this condition. The main things are to keep the food readily available so that there is no foraging around knifedrawers etc.

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