So I usually "wake up" hungry & feel ravenous at night. I want to go get a burger & fries right now...someone stop me
Here some info you might find useful:
Eat before you go to bed.
Have a late and hefty paleo dinner.
Waking up in the middle of the night like that probably means your blood sugar got low enough for your brain to panic. Once the brain panics, cortisol is released to wake you up and make you go get food. If things are going right, the liver releases enough throughout the night for this not to happen, either by storage of glycogen from carbs you've eaten before bed, or by taking excess protein and converting it into sugar.
Fat can be utilized by the rest of the body as an energy source during the night.
Eat a nice breakfast with Protein and Fat. Same with Lunch. No carbs until you have finished half of your dinner. Early carbs create hunger. Sleep well. Go to bed early and reduce stress.
I've found most, if not all of my cravings, have been due to my gut flora. If your gut flora is imbalanced (the good and bad bacteria in your gut), then so will your cravings. When I introduced probiotic foods into my diet not only did all my cravings go away for "bad" foods, but I almost didn't have hunger at all. Your gut sort of serves as your second brain in that way. I dunno, this is what has worked for me, and NOTHING else has for cravings. I eat sauerkraut/various fermented veggies, and kefir everyday now. I FEEL IN CONTROL AGAIN NOW. It's been God sent.
Though I normally don't advise it, try having a little midnight snack before going to bed. Maybe some sweet potato with coconut oil, a bit of banana with almond butter, or, if you do milk, some cottage cheese. The fat and protein will keep you full through the night.
I agree with jayking about the leptin resistance, and I've struggled with night time hunger as well. Check out this article by Dr. Mercola on leptin and insulin. Turns out he recommends a very paleo like diet with 50-70% fat for optimal health, along with high intensity interval (can you say cross-fit?) excercise, and n3 supplementation via krill oil. All of this he says will eventually reverse insulin and leptin resistance.