Robbie Williams has revealed he suffers with a rare sleep disorder that makes him eat in his sleep. The 43-year-old has been diagnosed with Nocturnal Sleep-related Eating Disorder (NS-RED) after he started getting up in the middle of the night and eating with no awareness of doing so.
The problem started over 12 months ago, and Robbie has admitted he has struggled to control his weight ever since, as he is generally driven to eating sweet treats rather than healthy food. Speaking on his video blog Robbie said: "I'm doing this very weird thing, and it's been for over a year now, where I night-eat. I am absolutely asleep and I get up, and I go and eat. I don't do it on purpose – I'm not aware I'm doing it - but it happens."
Robbie Williams reveals he suffers with a rare sleep disorder
He added: "And apparently in my sleep I don't want kale; I want sugar and loads of it. It's been super weird, as you can imagine and leaves me not a lot of room for [eating] bad stuff during the day because bad stuff happens at night, when I am asleep. It's just weird, but it's what's happening. So there's zero sad, shameful secret treats because I have my treat in the middle of the night when I don't even know about it."
Nocturnal Sleep-related eating disorder is believed to affect around 1.5 per cent of the population, and causes sufferers to get out of bed and eat while in a state somewhere between sleep and wakefulness, but they are not in control of their actions. A number of different things can trigger the disorder, including anxiety, stressful events and substance abuse. Another significant reason may simply be hunger, with those who do not eat enough during the day finding that they are compelled to eat while asleep.
Robbie and his wife Ayda have been open about his struggle with anxiety
Robbie has been open about his struggles with anxiety, and his wife Ayda Field recently revealed their concern that the singer was having a heart attack when he had a panic attack at their home, so it may be the trigger for his NS-RED. The dad-of-two appeared to experience the phenomenon for the first time last year, tweeting in April 2016: "So this actually happened: Sleep walking to the fridge. Then sleep eating. Found out the next day."