night binges

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horsebacklover2's picture
night binges

Night binges! HELP! So I have a terrible pattern which has been for a while now.. where I've been doing well during the day and then it comes to be night and I must have a snack before bed. Don't know if thats psychological or hungry, but anyway I either a) have a small snack-- which is the rarer of the two, because small often turns into... b) have a small snack and keep going... which leads to a b/p session and is terrible.
So does anyone have advice/ experience or problems at night? How can this be resolved? I've tried liquids, only seems to make me hungry still, maybe planning is the way to go? Any experience or if any one has this! I Feel like the only one!

dee, horsebackgirl

jesskax's picture
sleepytime tea sometimes

sleepytime tea sometimes helps me. i have the same problem though (just did it..dang it!) but doing a relaxing activity like taking a hot shower or reading also helps. staying out of the kitchen...thats the hardest part!

obbytribble's picture
Ohhhhhh. I am so with you on

Ohhhhhh. I am so with you on that! On days that I eat regularly or don’t purge…or some days that just aren’t so good, I can’t sleep if I go to bed without binging and purging. I’ve tried to eating a normal sized snack, but that usually makes it harder for me to sleep because I lay down and all I can think about is the food in my stomach and how uncomfortable I am. Lately I’ve been drinking a glass of V8 or juice before bed so that my stomach doesn’t feel quite FULL, but I am comfortable enough to sleep. I’m actually going to the doctor soon and at some point I know I’m going to be put on a meal plan that consists of snacks throughout the day, so I’ve been trying to remind myself of that, and perhaps I should take it upon myself to search for healthy foods that aren’t too heavy for my stomach, so once I am on the meal plan it won’t be so overwhelming. But that’s besides to point. Lately I’ve been reading a lot before bed so I can focus on something else…but you know you always have those nights where your mind just wont’ focus on anything else. Sorry I’m not much help, but THANK YOU for posting this. You are not alone, and it’s comforting for me to know that I’m not alone either =]

miglute's picture
all nighters??

I sure know how to pull an all-nighter. Since this semester my classes are all in the late afternoon, I have the luxury of sleeping in. But I learned to use that as a way of avoiding the first half of the day. Time slept=time I was abstaining from the b&p. It wouldn't be so bad if I wasn't setting myself up for not being tired at night with the kitchen all to myself. The reason I am sharing this is because I just had that kind of relapse. It's almost 6am. I have classes, meetings and essays to write today, but I haven't even slept yet! And I wasn't exactly studying this whole time. I am convinced that a regular sleeping schedule is just as important as eating regularly in terms of recovery and overall health and sanity. Oversleeping is a part of my disorder, not a good strategy to avoid I just realized that.

mumin's picture
brush your teeth

This works for me just because im really lazy. After dinner i always try to brush my teeth, it will occupy you for a few minutes and the toothpaste will leave a taste that wont make you wnt to binge as much afterwards. Also its easier to not eat since I know that i'll have to brush them again afterwards if i do.
of course this doesnt always work, depends on the urge, but it's helped me.

Bonz's picture
Yup Day fine Night shit i can

Yup Day fine Night shit i can't remember the last time i had a b/p free night. Been aiming towards it for a whole month now its quite hard though the urge to feed my face is riduculous and taunting. Going to try again tomorrow might buy some sleepy tea and log onto Bulimia help and meditate maybe go for a nice walk, clean my room, work on an art project for film school.....

Wish me luck

willing's picture
how did you go

how did you go scarsandstripes?

'you live to fight another day'

too_much's picture
surrounded by dark

This binging at night-time happens to me too. I reckon it must have something to do with the fact that during the day we are surrounded by light, and so we are 'visible'. We are accountable for what we eat. But at night, it's dark, we can feel hidden. So binging creeps up on us~ at least this is what I think about it... also because the later it gets, the more tired I become so I end up giving in to the urge to binge. Not good at all. And this night binging puts on weight like there's no tomorrow!!
Tonight I shall resist the urge to binge/purge!
*my advice to not binge at night is to think, 'would you eat that the following morning?', if not, don't have it before you sleep.~

enviedgurl's picture
almost every night...

I have had this problem for sooo long. My problem is that I'm very restrictive during the day and very careful about eating, then at night I'm hungrier than I've been all day and all I can think about is the foods I wouldn't let myself eat and I just can't control myself. I try so hard to eat healthy and keep myself busy but it's impossible. Does anyone have an activity that works for them and keeps their mind off food? I'd really love to know.

amz_101's picture
positive thinking

ok. you are like my mirror image- i control everything i eat during the day- i limit myself to things like no fat yoguhrt, apples and carrot sticks, even eaten tomatoes hole as a lunch b4. but once the sun goes down, im the same. out of control. usually its when im driving home from work- i know im absolutly staving and i think about all the food i have at home, what would taste sooo good, but never knowing which to eat- so i eat them all. its horrible, you feel terrible and you hate yourself. BUT you can stop. ive had two free nights so far. and the other week i had three.

i still control what i eat during the day, but im learing to do it at night too. its freakin hard, and i always find i eat more at night than in the day but i didnt purge.

ive been doing a lot of positive thinking exercises throughout the day, googleing self esteem and body image and also doing the activities on this website- they seem to make me stronger so i can face the night. another thing- i know it sounds stupid- and i thought i was to begin with, untill i actually did it- get postit notes and write positive things about yourself on them. stick them all around your room. in the bathroom, even in the food cupboard if you want. and read them. read them all the time. and agree with them. ive put one on my mirror that says
'when i look in the mirror i see a beautiful, talented, gorgeous blue eyed tall (i have issues with being tall) amazing and strong woman' - im learning to believe that. there is only one me and i have to love me. for this to stop i really believe that your self image, your self concept and self esteem has to be changed. learn to accept and love yourself because thats what this monster feeds on- us hating ourselves. we are strong enough to get through this- were on this site arent we?!?!

i've also gotten back into my arts- i love drawing and painting so if i do that after tea or after ive eaten something it keeps my mind occupied. if im home with mum and dad i get mum to play a game of cards with me so i cant leave to get food and my mind is occupied with focusing on the game.

its hard because as ive learned from this site- everyone is individual and what works for one might not work for another. but try the thinking positive. so far its gotten me through 3 nights and then a b/p for 2 and then 2 free nights- i'm hoping- (NO I KNOW) this will be my 3rd.

Dont give up, believe in yourself. and also- talk to someone who knows if you feel the urge- or jsut pick up your phone and ring someone. get out of the house, go for a walk or even take a bubble bath- relax. its hard to put them into practice, i'm yet to, but i know those tools are there- even thinking about strategies is the beginning to stopping- because your thinking about it- your not just giving in.

good luck hun,

let me know if any of that helps or if you find some other helpful strategies/tool- id LOVE to know :)

fight's picture

watch a dvd or should l say hire a dvd or watch a movie you havent seen before so you can immerse yourself in it. Do some beauty treatments on yourself like wash your face, do a mud mask, moisturise your face and body. Paint your nails, put a deep treatment in your hair. Buy an exercise dvd and do that everytime you have the urge. Do sit ups until your stomach aches and you wont feel like eating.

mint's picture
Shadow eating!

That's what I call it. There's somethin about the sun going down that makes night binging so easy, like no one's gonna' see, or the day is done so it doesn't count.. almost like it's not really happening. Because the morning will come and it's like it never happened when the sun's shining! Somebody else said that, too, and I agree!!!! Plus our defenses are down when we're tired, a Huge trigger, which someone else mentioned.

So yeah, chica, I'm with ya'.. there's a LOT against us at night. I'm the exact same way -- HAVE to have a bedtime snack, period. First thing, plan your bedtime hour. That immediately sets the tone for when you need to be in bed to get the proper amount of sleep (sleep that will also stave off any 'underslept' binges the next day!). And plan that snack. Schedule it, know what you'll eat. Then brush your teeth, and hop in the sack. Just steer clear of addictive sugary snacks, and go to bed sleepy! I don't know how many times I've laid there, not tired enough, and/or the sugar keeping me awake, and I'll get right back up and eat more.

Safe snack for me is something like a piece of wheat or rye toast with a tiny bit of butter and cinnamon, always paired with a hot chocolate type drink (w/Stevia, no sugar). Milk sits heavier on the stomach than hot tea or water, and the heat and milk make you tired (even unsweetened soy/almond milk!).

One more thing, someone said think about what you'll be eating for breakfast. That can work too, I found! I LOVE breakfast, so I'll have it planned and scheduled on my weekly menu, and the night before, focus on looking forward to it, and being hungry for it. Stops me lots of times!! Good call!

amz_101's picture
Out of control nights

OMG! after reading all your comments i feel so much better. i am exactly the same. throughout the day i can control what i eat- i can usually get away with not eating much. little snacks- never a 'meal' so to speak- i can also eat healthy during the day- tempations dont tempt me so much.
but nighttime- thats a completely different story. the thoughts, feelings, urges and compulsions of wanting to binge are soooo strong and they win almost everytime. its terrible. im fine during the day but at night, i'll have tea with my family if im home, i have an apartment for uni and my parents recently moved closer (used to be 5hrs away now only 1hr) so i'll be either at home or alone in my apartment- (which, btw, being alone doesnt help either). but yeah, i'll have tea and feel full. but theres so many yummy bad for me foods at home i want desert so i have a big dessert and feel so uncomfortably full that i know i need to purge so i might as well eat more cos im gonna do it anyway. but i have to wait till mum and dad go to bed. so im so uncomfortably full and i cant do anything about it- then i snack even when i am full, sultanas, choccy, biscuits- things like that. i'll just keep eating. and once they go to bed- BAMM ice cream, choc, yoghurt- anything. especially soft things cos its easer to purge. but its only at night!

these feelings only overpower me at night. :( but im getting help im learning to fight these thoughts, these urges. its hard as all hell but im doing it.

does anyone have any extra advice about stopping the urges from winning. lately im finding if i work on positive thinking during the day, at night its not too bad.

sorry for such a long msg! lol- i tend to get a little carried away when i start typing- so many things pop up into my head and i just want to get them ALL out!

thanks guys so much for writing down your feelings, you have no idea how much it helps to know your not alone! and that others are going through the same things i am- you feel so much less like theres something wrong with you.


horsebacklover2's picture
everyone!!! LOL I went back

everyone!!! LOL I went back to ths post and I'm like okay all of these things are good ideas BUT its so hard when you are in the moment-- in that mentality of wanting to purge.. thats when i know i should stop myself.. but i keep going, and its the wrost the day after! im trying to keep it together with you all and be strong, to not let it get me down but i have a hard time of it.. how is everyone doign with this???

dee, horsebackgirl

mint's picture

'Doing' is the operative word, here -- 'trying' is what we're all REALLY doing! I read my own advice, and I recognize that yeah man, I ,too, often don't follow it, all sucked up in the moment and collapsing at the frig. But sometimes, I DO do it. Sometimes, it Does work. It's all this balance that some days you can post H.A.L.T. post-its and activities on the frig, read advice and support on here, and it'll actually help - you'll power through the binge craving and have a good day. But be okay that the slips will happen. All we can do is tell ya' you're doing great, give advice that we've learned, try to follow it ourselves, hope it helps you, and show you that you Are being strong - you logged in, right? Strength! Go sista! Hang tough!

Letgoandletgod's picture


bipolar bulimic mom
bipolar bulimic mom's picture
I've been known to move the

I've been known to move the loveseat in front of the kitchen entrance to block my path. Turn off all the lights in the kitchen. Sit outside for a few minutes. Smoke a cigarette! Hey, I can't quit everything at once. Avoid drinking too much of anything, too many liquids sloshing around in your stomach are begging for some bread to absorb them. Keep your cabinets and fridge as bare as possible, only shop for one or two days worth of food at a time. Pop an Altoid or a stick of gum. Lie on your back on the floor with your arms and legs completely stretched out and really concentrate on how your body feels. Go to bed early. Turn off the t.v.- food advertising is a huge trigger. Keep a running dialogue in your head about what you are going through minute by minute. Try to talk yourself out of urges by recalling only those minutes in which you felt calm, in control and focused. Coax yourself back into those successful moments and see how long you can extend them. It really is a moment to moment struggle in the worst of times.

jennbunny25's picture
I'm so glad i found this site

I'm so glad i found this site and read this post. I used to purge anything and everything i put in my mouth. I've gotten better and i don't do it so much in the day time anymore; i actually eat pretty healthy. But night time is a different story and i give in. I hate it! it's so hard not to, the only thing that works for me is just to make myself go to sleep right that instant, otherwise it's over with.

Jennifer Anjali :)

bipolar bulimic mom
bipolar bulimic mom's picture
Tylenol PM is helpful.

Tylenol PM is helpful.

arcoiris's picture
I understand what you mean by

I understand what you mean by not being able to sleep until you b/p at night. I've noticed that after I b/p (at any time of day) my body and mind are so exhausted that I feel like I can sleep forever. Anyways, recovery has led to me having more energy and difficulty sleeping sometimes. This feels foreign to me and sometimes I b/p to get back that familiar feeling of full blown exhaustion. This is why I beleive that bulimia acts like a drug in the brain because the side effects feel so similar to a druggie getting high and sleeping it off.

Live in the present

kachina's picture
why is it so easy in the day

why is it so easy in the day to control food, so hard at night? for most all of us apparently...

msshiner's picture
wow. i am not alone.

i never really thought i was but,i have not talked about this to anyone for the past 9 years. this late night binge is my sleeping pill....why?

i envy those who just say goodnight. get in bed. turn off the light and sleep....for me this is when all hell breaks loose.......WHY?...the worst part is the guilt.

I live and work as a teacher in china of my classes was about diet and nutrition...i taught my students about eating disorders....(i teach in a poor province)...they never heard of such lunacy. i asked them what they thought about it.....they said people like that need to be shown a film about starving people in poor countries to realize they are wasteful and need help.....this made me feel really good about myself....and led to a b/p session.....

i wish i could just be at peace with food....i guess it's not about the's about peace with's just so, i retract that statement, it is not so difficult to figure out what is causing my unrest....i choose to avoid addressing it.

recently i have addressed it.....i'm used to pleasing people regardless if they are hurtful to me or not. this causes my own self hate...self hate results in self torture.

i think it is better for my health to not please people.
i am #1. self really does come first. it does for all the non ED'D people.

this is very difficult. but, in the past week, i have gone from 8 episodes per day to 1.....i think episodes are more frequent at night for people because this is when we are usually alone with our thoughts and instead of facing them and taking action, we stuff them and them dispose of them.

moonflower's picture
I can relate

Hi I'm new to this site and it really helps to see that I'm not alone. I am exactly the same way. During the day I eat super healthy. I don't starve myself. I eat balanced heatlhy meals. At night though I don't know what comes over me. I try to allow myself one snack, but then that one snack turns into two and then it just keeps going from there. I eat things that I don't even really like. I don't know what it is. I think I just get lonely sometimes and I feel empty inside so I just want something to distract me and then I feel guilty so I purge. I really want to stop doing this, but it's like I get into some type of trance. I am really glad for this site though. I think it will be really helpful.

Anyway sorry I don't have any real strategies to overcome nighttime binges, but even though it will be hard I know that we can all do it. We just have to stick together and remember that none of us are alone.

horsebacklover2's picture
This has been a huge struggle

This has been a huge struggle lately. i know not keepng trigger foods in house would be ideal. but still, i need to learn the tools to combat it right.
anyone have any tips/ suggestions lately?

dee, horsebackgirl

starling_emma's picture
you all too?

i was just going to start a thread about this when i saw... of course, there was one already! i have been doing pretty well through the days (most days). even if i have small binges i manage not to purge. i read recovery stuff and am feeling better about my body and self. i'm looking forward to finding my set point and having my body feel comfortable and healthy. i am looking forward to letting go of this lunatic obsession. all this is clear to me... why i want to recover, how important it is... during the day. then at night i feel possessed. i no longer am thinking about all the reasons i must recover... instead i am driving to the store for binge food and/or raiding my kitchen and promptly bringing it back up again.

i think a large part of this is simply that when you are tired you are not thinking as clearly as usual. for me being alone at night and able to purge without getting "caught" is also a major trigger.

so in about 10 minutes i must decide if i'm heading home to turn in for the night and read a wonderful recovery book that's just come in the mail... or making a detour to the convenience store. i really want to say i'm going straight home but i'm not sure yet. :(

"To maintain hunger where food is available, as Western women are doing, is to submit to a life state as unnatural as anything with which the species has come up yet. It is more bizarre than cannibalism." -Naomi Wolf in The Beauty Myth

craner13's picture
If you dont mind...whats the

If you dont mind...whats the name of the book? I know the feeling of whether to go home, or go to the convienient store that is either on the way or way out of the way!

starling_emma's picture
awesome book

Eating In The Light Of The Moon by Anita Johnstone PhD.

"To maintain hunger where food is available, as Western women are doing, is to submit to a life state as unnatural as anything with which the species has come up yet. It is more bizarre than cannibalism." -Naomi Wolf in The Beauty Myth

starling_emma's picture
<--i didn't do it


"To maintain hunger where food is available, as Western women are doing, is to submit to a life state as unnatural as anything with which the species has come up yet. It is more bizarre than cannibalism." -Naomi Wolf in The Beauty Myth

liv_well's picture
Go you!

Go you!

starling_emma's picture

thanks :)

"To maintain hunger where food is available, as Western women are doing, is to submit to a life state as unnatural as anything with which the species has come up yet. It is more bizarre than cannibalism." -Naomi Wolf in The Beauty Myth

sophiesays's picture
i used to struggle with this

i used to struggle with this for so long. i think its because our bodies are craving the huge hit of serotonin we get when we binge on carbs before bed-- this makes us feel relaxed and sleepy, and we begin to associate nighttime with this chemical and eating behavior. trying to break this habit is especially hard because we develop a dependency on the serotonin, and without it we feel jittery, anxious, light-headed and hungry. it's a mental hunger that drives us crazy with unrelenting thoughts of food once the sun goes down.

for the most part i've been able to quit night binging-- maybe once every few weeks i'll fall off the wagon but it's such an improvement from where i used to be. here are a few things that worked for me:

-eating sweet fruit before bed, such as pineapple, cherries or frozen raspberries (they taste like candy). don't limit yourself, eat as much as you want! the urge will gradually lessen on its own.

-eating big meals earlier in the day. i used to worry so much about restricting during lunch and dinner, but it always backfires at night. also try to eat mostly fibrous carbs, such as oatmeal and Ezekiel bread.

-chewing on ice cubes. sometimes it's just the act of munching on something that we're craving. i've found this to be a good way to occupy my oral fixation for while.

-eating a handful of raw almonds or sunflower seeds an hour or two before bed is very filling. also try teriyaki turkey jerky or beef jerky, something with protein but also sweet.

-try going to bed early when you start feeling hungry. do the routine even if you're not tired-- wash your face, brush your teeth, sit in bed with a dim light on and read a book until you start to feel drowsy. if you absolutely cannot sleep, take a benadryl as a last resort. i don't recommend doing this all the time, but it really did work for me and i was able to avoid a few detrimental binges this way. also try to get a regular sleeping schedule going and wake up at the same time everyday; it will be a lot easier to fall asleep, even when your mind won't stop thinking about food.

-i know it's not good to limit certain types of foods, but the only way i've been able to keep away from binging is to very rarely eat blatant, triggering junk food, i.e. oreos or doritos. now that i'm more in control, i'm slowly trying to bring these things back into my diet without going to town on them.

i hope this helps you out! after a few nights w/o binges, it becomes a trillion times easier to deal with the urges and "fake" hunger. you learn to ignore them and that you'll be able to survive without feeling compelled to binge. be strong and stay positive! :D

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