A fairly rare eating disorder whose signature is excessive eating – though not necessarily bingeing – at night needs further study since it may signal other mental health issues, researchers say.

They analyzed eating disorders and mental health history in more than 1,600 university students and found about 4 percent met night eating disorder criteria, with about a third of those also engaging in binge eating.

Night eating syndrome is characterized not only by eating at night – certainly many college students might have a late night study fest with eating – but it’s also characterized by other things, like feeling that you can’t eat in the morning, and feeling like you have to eat in order to go back to sleep,” Dr. Rebecka Peebles told Reuters Health.

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