Girl, you think you got problems? Last night, I ate an entire jar of crunchy peanut butter in my sleep.
It’s true, no seriously, I eat in my sleep. It’s a rare disorder, but oh-so-real. At least three nights a week, I sleepwalk into the kitchen, grab an unusual snack and devour it, remembering absolutely nothing. I have made orange juice sandwiches. I have eaten M&M cereal. I have endured ungodly proportions of pure brown sugar.
I bet you’re wondering, if I can’t remember doing it then how do I ever know what I eat? Well, here is my favorite part: I only eat the food IN MY BED. That’s right, I wake up with a variety of edible shackers on a regular basis. I’m a food slut. Coke floats, pistachios over melted Gouda, raw noodles; I do not discriminate.
As I’ve found, not a lot of people talk about sleep-eating. According to WebMD, around 3% of the population is currently suffering from it. My theory is this: if WebMD is telling you anything other than “you’re pregnant”, it’s probably right. (Bullet-proof theory right there.)
So…night grazing community, here is your chance show yourself! If you choose not to, I totally understand. I’m merely trying to fire the digital flare gun signalling “You are not alone!”
It is a frustrating and funny habit to have. So, in pure, self sacrificing, may-never-get-another-date-after-this admittance, here is some truth: as a diagnosed night grazer, I have noticed some pretty interesting things about what eating looks like inhibition-less.
For starters, the whole “one chip at a time” thing goes headfirst out the window. I mean, head-first. From what I’ve gathered, after repetitively waking up to crumble noises and/or chip stabs is this: if you are hungry and want to eat chips, you will pour them directly into your mouth. You do not use your hands; you literally 90-degree-angle that nonsense into your face.
If it’s condiments you’re looking for, Ketchup, Margarine, Ranch, BBQ sauce, etc., one spoonful is never enough. You will finish it. I’m not sure if by sleep I am in some kind of Nathan’s hot dog-like food training, but I can straight-up kill some sauces. Watch out Takeru Kobayashi, I am eyes closed coming at cha!
If you want candy, chewing is more of an inconvenience than anything else. Either I swallow them whole or I save whole ones in my mouth for breakfast. A few M&M’s just chillin’ in my cheek until morning. Cute, right?
If you feel like cooking, ingredients aren’t important. Kidney beans, cocoa powder, turkey burgers — you’ll figure it out.
But the most bizarre part of all is that clean up is more of an after-thought — which is totally fine because washing a two inch glob of butter off your face can wait, right? Wrong. Waking up with mustard in your sheets? That’s not gross at all.
In conclusion, inhibition-less eating has far less to do with what you eat as long as you are eating and it’s happening rapidly.
If you, personally, are struggling with any kind of sleep-eating and do not have my same sense of humor about it, there is some advice out there. WebMD has some decent remedy suggestions. Also, there is a yahoo group called “My Struggle with Night Grazing” where a woman who eats carpet will quickly put your concern about adding nutmeg to your Mac and Cheese into perspective.
As far as my coping mechanism, I figure, we all have our oddities, mine is just nocturnal face stuffing.