Lesley Cusack Consumes 2,500 Calories While She Sleeps

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A woman from Warrington, Cheshire is struggling with her weight, but not because she chooses to eat bad foods. Her weight problems stem from her tendency to eat up to 2,500 calories while she sleeps.

Lesley Cusack, 55, wakes up to messes in her kitchen and stains on her nightwear. 

"Sometimes I've found soup in pans, but also in bowls - it all can get rather messy," she said. "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."

"I'm trying to lose weight but it's a constant battle. I can follow a diet to the letter but it goes to pot at night."

Her doctors say she is suffering from Sleep Related Eating Disorder (SRED). She's had it for several years, and her three children remember her doing it throughout their childhood.

"My children tell me now that they never really thought about it whilst they were young, except for when chocolate went missing," she said.

At first, she didn't know what was happening. She was struggling with her weight and it didn't seem to matter if she dieted or not.

But then she started putting the pieces together. Food was missing when she woke up, messes would be found in the kitchen and crumb trails would lead to her room.

And when she is sleep eating, she doesn't really have any preference for what she eats.

"I've eaten a whole bowl of fruit once. On one particular weekend, I came down to find the cake slice was covered in butter. I'd used it while making cheese sandwiches."

"The worst things that I know I've eaten are emulsion paint, Vaseline, cough syrup, raw potatoes and soap powder."

She remembers the paint incident very vividly, as the taste woke her up.

"The night I ate paint was the only time I've ever woken up. I can still remember standing in the kitchen touching my mouth and being very confused. It took me awhile to work out what it was. It was thick and horrible," she said.

Though very rare, sleep eating happens to some adults.

According to Dr. Paul Reading, Consultant Neurologist at James Cook University Hospital, said, "Benign sleep walking is a common phenomenon in childhood which usually disappears during early adolescence."

"However, around one percent of adults will continue to exhibit complex activities that arise from the deepest stages of sleep shortly after dropping off. A proportion of adult sleep-walkers will eat and even cook during apparent sleep, often consuming foods they would not normally enjoy."

Usually, drug treatments before bed can solve the problem, according to Reading.

Sources: Inquistir, Telegraph