A person with NES often starts gaining weight not long after night eating becomes a habit. They may feel like they have no control over their behavior and might even eat even if they are not hungry. It is also not unusual for someone to feel guilt after the late snacking.
Not all people with NES are binge eaters. They may only be eating in small quantities or wake up several times during the night to eat. People with NES are often ashamed of what they’re doing and will try to keep it secret. However, it is not unusual for food wrappers, crumbs, and other evidence to be left behind after night eating.
NES is nothing to be ashamed of. It does not mean there is something wrong with you. Anyone can develop NES. It is common among college students who keep late hours and eat very little during the day. When these people resume a normal sleep schedule, it can be difficult to eat at regular times.
One of the first steps to treating NES is learning the habits that trigger late-night food cravings. NES is a mental condition, and therefore a combination of therapies is often required to treat it.