Published on May 24th, 20140
Breaking Discovery: Night-eating syndrome ‘is real’
People who wake up hungry at night and can not go back to sleep if they don’t eat could suffer from a disorder only recently studied - night-eating syndrome - causes of which are genetic.
Night-eating syndrome occurs when the genes that control the timing of meals with sleep malfunctions, shows a research conducted on laboratory animals. This program disturbs physiological abnormality of food intake, leading to overeating and weight gain.
The disorder is found in 1-2% of individuals and is characterized by the fact that these people wake up at night with a great desire to eat and can not go back to sleep if you do not eat.
For a long time it was considered that it’s just a bad habit, but recently this behavior was classified as an eating disorders. Its causes are still poorly known.
A study whose results were published in Cell Reports used mice that had a human version of a gene that controls the “internal clock” of the body. When this gene was inactivated, the mice ate much earlier than others, times when you should normally sleep. Mutations in a related gene - also involved in regulating the biological clock - made the mice to sleep more.
Researchers believe that these genes act to maintain normal rhythm coordinated eating and sleeping. Impaired operation of one of these genes causes mass disorders or sleep program.
Once established that nocturnal eating syndrome is a real disorder, this discovery raises many questions regarding the regulation of food and sleep cycles, say researchers.
Source: BBC News