Nocturnal eating -- literally eating while still asleep -- could be a side effect of the sleep medication Ambien.
The sleep eating can include bizarre foods such as buttered cigarettes, salt sandwiches, and raw bacon.
It can also cause people to gain weight; one woman gained over 100 pounds while on Ambien. Others have cut themselves while trying to chop up food in their sleep.
Ambien, which is made by Sanofi-Aventis, made over $2 billion last year, with more than 26 million prescriptions written for it.
Signs of Sleep Eating
The percentage of people who suffer from the sleep eating side effect is unknown. Signs of sleep eating can include empty food wrappers by the bed, missing food, unexplained weight gain, and the taste of food in your mouth upon waking.