2,500 Calories A Night: What Rare Disorder Has Lesley Cusack Eating In Her Sleep?

By Philip Ross on April 24, 2013 5:34 PM EDT

2,500 calories a night
2,500 calories a night – roughly the amount of two Chipotle steak burritos (with all the trimmings) – is how much food Lesley Cusack consumes in her sleep. What rare disorder has the UK woman eating a whole day’s worth of food while she sleeps? (Photo: Flickr/RLHyde)

Lesley Cusack consumes 2500 calories in her sleep every night. The 55-year-old UK woman from Warrington, Cheshire, said she is actively trying to lose weight, but a rare disorder has her chowing down on a day's worth of food during nighttime binges.  

According to The Telegraph, Cusack has been sleep-eating for several years. The only reason the mother of three knows about her nighttime eating is because she finds the remnants of her binges strewn around her kitchen in the morning. "I tend to find opened tins of things or packets and I've no idea whether I've eaten some of them cold or not," she said. "Sometimes I've found soup in pans, but also in bowls -- it all can get rather messy."

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Cusack said she is trying to curb her nocturnal appetite. "I've put alarms on my doors in the hope it will wake me up. It doesn't work though. I simply turn it off in my sleep," Cusack told The Telegraph.

2,500 calories a night is what most people eat in a day. Simply for comparison's sake, a Chipotle burrito with steak, white rice, black beans, salsa, cheese and guacamole has about 1,100 calories in it.

So what rare disorder has Cusack eating more than two burritos-worth of calories a night?

It's called nocturnal sleep-related eating disorder, or NSRED, and it affects about 1 to 3 percent of the population. WebMD reports that NSRED is a hybrid of sleep and eating disorders that can be treated with stress-relieving techniques and counseling.

According to a review of nocturnal sleep-related eating disorders in the U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, "night-eating syndrome" was first reported in 1955. Of the cases reported since then, the mean age of the sufferer was 39 years, 66 percent of who were women. Almost half of the people reported to have nocturnal sleep-related eating disorders were overweight.

Cusack's disorder also presents some unique dangers. For one, she realized she goes outside at night to raid the freezer, Daily Mail reports. She said she's afraid she'll leave the door open or end up hurting herself outside.

Also, the night binger has eaten some things that can be toxic like Vaseline, cough syrup, soap powder and emulsion paint.

According to Daily mail, Cusack is now waiting to see a specialist about her NSRED.

Read more from iScience Times:

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