Imagine going to sleep hungry and having your body take matters into its own hands, to the point where you wake up with melted chocolate on your pillowcase. That's the reality 20-year-old University of Aberdeen student Kate Archibald lives with every night, and occasionally her sleep-eating problem gets so severe that she finds herself waking up next to half-eaten wheels of cheese. Heck, we're not even mad.
Archibald has what's called a nocturnal sleep-related eating disorder, a more specific type of sleepwalking that causes the body to act on its hunger, even if the mind is somewhere off in dreamland. To combat this condition (which apparently affects up to 4% of US students), she's started locking herself in her bedroom, only stocking her pantry and fridge with healthy snacks, and educating her roommates on her condition -- they used to think she was consciously stealing their food. But now everyone knows better.
Her beleaguered cohabitors have taken to repeating to her the names of the foods they want her to subconsciously avoid, in the hopes that it'll trigger some form of recollection when she's rummaging through the drawers at night. However, if and when Archibald craves something that doesn't belong to her, she makes an immediate effort to replace it. It might sound cheesy, but maybe she's not such a bad roommate after all.
Adam Lapetina is a Food/Drink staff writer for Thrillist, and usually eats his wheels of cheese right BEFORE going to sleep. Read his musings at @adamlapetina.