Treatment of Sleep/Wake Disorders Essay

Treatment of Sleep/Wake Disorders Essay

Sleep-Related Eating Disorder (SRED) is a parasomnia typified by recurring episodes of food consumption during sleep. Components of sleep-related eating disorder include confusion, disorientation and absent memory about the eating episode (Komada et al, 2016). This discussion will focus on the diagnostic criteria of SRED as well as the psychotherapy and pharmacological treatments.

Diagnostic Criteria of Sleep-Related Eating Disorder

Diagnostic criteria of SRED include the following symptoms: recurring episodes of dysfunctional food consumption after waking up from the main sleep duration; consumption of strange forms of food or toxic substances; potentially sleep-related detrimental behaviors done while looking for or cooking food; adverse health effects from frequent nocturnal eating; partial or full lack of awareness during eating episode with consequent impaired memory; and the sleep disturbance is not explained by any other mental disorder or medications (Allusion et al, 2015). Treatment of Sleep/Wake Disorders Essay


Psychotherapy Treatment

Psychotherapy treatments that may be effective in the treatment of SRED include patient education on proper sleep hygiene, maintaining a safe sleeping environment, and deliberately food placement in order to ensure that the patient does not wander indiscriminately. Patient education on sleep hygiene may include educating the patient to avoid alcohol intake or drinking caffeine just before going to sleep (Komada et al, 2016).

Pharmacological Treatments

Sertraline: Sertraline is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) that has been shown to be effective in treating sleep-related eating disorder. In a study by Inuoe (2015) sertraline lowered the episodes of nocturnal eating by 80% and significant weight loss was observed in the patients who were administered with sertraline.

Clonazepam: Clonazepam is effective in the treatment of the sleep-related eating disorder. The medication is effective in reducing the regularity of night eating and hence its efficacy (Chiaro, 2015). A study done by Inuoe (2015) indicated that clonazepam monotherapy significantly reduced the regularity of night eating in patients with a sleep-related eating disorder.

Referral of the Client to their Primary Care Physician

If the symptoms of the client do not seem to improve and there is reported weight gain, it would be advisable to refer to the client for the specialized care. This is because the specialist may need to review the client’s medication and decide to discontinue the current regimen and prescribe another more effective medication. Another reason for referring the client to a specialized physician is because the client’s symptoms may become chronic with significant physical consequences like the need for bariatric surgery. In addition, the continued nocturnal eating may expose the client to serious injuries such as knife wounds and burns during food preparation or eating toxic substances or even choking because of eating while half-asleep (Komada et al, 2016).


Sleep-related eating disorder is characterized by regular episodes of eating and drinking behaviors during the state of sleep. The individual may be partly or completely unaware regarding the behavior during food preparation or eating, and may not remember about the episode in the morning. Pharmacological treatments include sertraline and clonazepam. Psychotherapy treatment includes sleep hygiene, environmental control, and patient education. If the symptoms persist, it is important to refer the client to specialized treatment for review of the treatment regimen and for further assessment.Treatment of Sleep/Wake Disorders Essay


Allusion K, John O, Allan G, Gluck M, Engel S, Yael L, mark M, crow S et al. (2015). Proposed Diagnostic Criteria for Night Eating Syndrome. Int J Eat Disord. 43(3): 241–247.

Inuoe Y. (2015). Sleep‐related eating disorder and its associated conditions. Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences. 69(6), 309-320.

Chiaro G, Caletti M & Provin F. (2015). Treatment of sleep-related eating disorder. Curr Treat Options Neurol. 17(8):361.

Komada Y, Takaesue Y, Matsui K, Masaki N, Nishida S & Inoue Y. (2016). Comparison of clinical features between primary and a drug-induced sleep-related eating disorder. Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat. 1(12), 1275–1280.

Treatment of Sleep/Wake Disorders Essay

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