Since the age of 4, I have had a sleep related eating disorder known as NS-RED, Nocturnal Sleep Related Eating Disorder. That’s right, while the majority of you are sleeping and dreaming at night, I am eating in my sleep. And I’m totally unaware that I’m doing it. Two to three nights a week I consume as much as 1000 calories, eating all the stuff that I try so hard to stay away from during the day.
Talk about frustrating! In the night I eat pizza, ice cream, cakes, and Twinkies; and afterward I don’t even remember how good it tastes. Bummer! Once I even ate half of a pie that my wife had baked for a women’s group the next day. Not good for marital bliss…
How funny is that? I’m a health conscious fitness consultant who eats all kinds of sweets in his sleep? Welcome to my world! Believe me; I can pack on mega pounds if I don’t make adjustments with what I eat and how much I exercise. On a positive note, at least I know how much cardio it’s going to take to burn off the Little Debbies that I ate last night.
This is what the experts from Mayo Clinic say about those of us with NS-RED:
“These people are not conscious during episodes of NS-RED. They are not aware that they are eating in their sleep. They have no memories of having done so when they wake. Episodes seem to occur in a state somewhere between wakefulness and sleep. Food consumed during NS-RED episodes tends to be high-fat, high-sugar comfort food that people deny themselves while awake.”
Oprah’s show focused on the topic of sleep eating, something many people have never even heard of. She invited me to be a guest on that show since I was one of the few men in America with the disorder. Lucky me, right?
The Oprah show gave me a chance to know more about the disorder and learn that there are others who share the same struggles that I do. On the show I, along with three ladies with NS-RED, met with some physicians who were experts on sleep disorders. They didn’t cure me of my sleep eating disorder, but helped me to learn how to better manage my situation. Oprah told us that with all of her weight issues that she is thankful that she doesn’t have a sleep eating disorder to deal with.
Just for the record, Oprah was awesome! The show was tastefully done and a great experience. My wife and I had an amazing getaway at Chicago’s Omni Hotel, complete with fine dining and limo service. All I had to do was tell my biggest secret ever in front of 100 million viewers!
The truth is we all have challenges and obstacles that could keep us from reaching our goals. Some things we can change, some things we can’t. But whatever our given situation, we need to stop making excuses and get started taking positive steps toward being fit forever. If I can do it with all of my quirks, then so can you!