It’s quite common to experience cravings late at night. It’s never a good idea to go to sleep hungry, but you should always avoid eating junk food. Eating sugary snacks can lead to a restless night full of tossing and turning. So, it’s better to munch on healthy snacks for a good night’s rest.
In this next article, we’ll take a look at some healthy late-night snacks you can eat the next time you feel your stomach growling at bedtime.
Tart cherries make an excellent late-night snack since they have less sugar compared to their sweeter counterparts. So you can eat this fruit without worrying about your blood sugar spiking and interfering with your sleep.
Also, tart cherries have anti-inflammatory benefits, which protect you from conditions like arthritis and heart disease. Insomnia is also associated with inflammation and can have an overall impact on your sleeping duration.
2.Greek Yogurt with Fresh Fruit
Greek yogurt is a great source of protein, calcium, and vitamin B12 and is helpful for restorative sleep. Calcium is especially good for reducing oxidized stress and may ease anxiety for some sleepers.
Certain flavored yogurts are not great options to eat before bed since they have more added sugars than plain yogurts. Eating too much sugar can cause stomach aches and frequent wake-ups throughout the night. Instead, opt for plain yogurts or try flavoring them with fresh fruits if you’re craving sweetness.
Goji berries are a rich source of antioxidants and proven to aid sleep. These tart berries are loaded with carotenoids, an antioxidant research links to increased sleeping duration when consumed in high quantities. In a recent study, 80% of sleepers who ate goji berries reported improved sleep quality and found it easier to wake up. So, eating a couple of berries when you’re feeling hungry may help you drift off to sleep late at night.
Trail mix is a combination of dried fruits, nuts, or seeds and is a healthy choice to munch on at night. Some trail mix ingredients, like nuts, supply you with healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals, known to support sleep.
Walnuts, sunflower seeds, and dried cranberries have been noted for their melatonin content and filled with fiber to satisfy your hunger. When purchasing trail mix, you’ll want to avoid choosing mixes with coated candies or chocolates because the added sugar may keep you up all night.
5.Bananas with Almond Butter
Eating a banana with unsweetened almond butter is a tasty combination and may help you relax. Bananas have a good amount of potassium, making them a go-to choice for fighting against muscle cramps.
When your potassium levels in your body are too low, it may make your muscles stiff, causing spasms or cramps to interrupt a good night of rest. Combining banana with creamy almond butter provides sleepers with magnesium and vitamin E. Magnesium is a nutrient proven to improve sleep quality and duration for insomnia patients.
6. Hummus with Raw Veggies
Hummus is a high-protein snack, making this a popular healthy option. This snack is also rich in folate and vitamin B-6. Folate intake aids in fighting off insomnia, while vitamin B-6 regulates your sleep-wake cycle. You can pair hummus with raw fresh vegetables, pita bread, or whole-grain crackers for the perfect late-night snack.
Pistachios are a convenient bedtime snack and are considered to be one of the most nutritious nuts. What sets pistachios apart from other nuts is their high levels of the sleep-promoting hormone melatonin. Though all plant-based foods contain this substance, few have as much as pistachios, with 6.5 mg of melatonin in only one ounce of nuts. Typically, 0.5–5 mg of this hormone is the recommended intake to aid sleep.
Popcorn is a filling, salty snack but is also low in calories and fat. You can eat a lot of this snack without worrying about weight gain since 3 cups of popcorn equate to about 100 calories.
It’s better to skip out on dousing this popcorn in butter or other condiments. Added butter, sugar, and salt can make popcorn an unhealthy snack and can cause sleeping interruptions. Keeping popcorn unflavored promotes better sleeping habits since it is carb-rich food and stimulates the production of serotonin.
9. Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich
Peanut butter and jelly is a classic duo and is a fantastic pairing for bedtime. Eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on whole-grain bread will provide sleepers with a significant amount of protein.
Protein-based foods, like natural peanut butter, contain tryptophan, which helps your body produce serotonin. Serotonin plays a crucial role in regulating mood and sleep cycles. Additionally, carbohydrates like wheat bread and jelly help your body absorb, further inducing sleep. Plus, the sweetness of jelly or jam may be able to curb your sweet tooth.
10. Avocado Toast
Avocados are a superfood packed full of potassium. One avocado contains three times as much potassium as a single banana. Increasing your potassium intake may help you sleep because it is known to reduce wake-ups throughout the night.
Spreading avocado on whole-grain toast or pita bread may also help you fall asleep. Avocados contain healthy fats and essential proteins to fight against feelings of anxiety. Furthermore, eating complex carbs promotes healthy digestion and keeps you feeling full.
What foods help you fall asleep?
Foods with high amounts of protein and carbohydrates usually help induce sleep. The amino acid tryptophan is present in many protein-rich foods and aids serotonin production. Serotonin plays a large role in regulating mood and sleep cycles. Additionally, carbohydrates help your body absorb tryptophan, causing you to feel a bit sleepy. Some sleep-inducing foods you can try include lean protein, pasta, and wheat bread.
Will too much sugar keep me awake at night?
More often than not, high sugar intake throughout the day leads to less restorative rest. When you eat sugar, it stimulates parts of your brain related to metabolism and appetite. Too much sugar before bed can lead to late-night cravings. Furthermore, research shows individuals who consume a lot of sugar may experience blood sugar spikes and stiffness caused by inflammation, making it harder to fall asleep. Bellyaches and frequent wake-ups are also sleeping disruptions linked to high sugar consumption.
Is it okay to snack late at night?
Nighttime eating is perfectly fine, as long as you are snacking on light and healthy foods near bedtime. We do not recommend going to bed hungry because hunger pains can make it difficult for you to get to bed. However, eating junk food can cause bellyaches and hinder sleep as well.
Will I gain weight if I eat late at night?
Late-night snacking is unlikely to cause any major changes in your weight, providing it’s not contributing to large increases in your daily calorie intake. However, your metabolism does slow down a bit as you sleep, so calories consumed right before bed are slightly tougher to burn. If weight loss is your ultimate goal, you’ll want to limit yourself to snacking at least an hour before bed.
What foods should I avoid before bedtime?
It’s best to stay away from greasy foods before you go to bed because they cause bellyaches—some examples of foods to avoid include pizza, creamy pasta, and ice cream. Spicy foods also should be avoided at bedtime. Eating spicy foods right before bed can cause indigestion and discomfort while you’re sleeping. Research also suggests that capsaicin, a compound found in spicy foods, may increase body temperature and interfere with sleep.
Choosing healthy foods like fruits and vegetables over sugary snacks ruins your sleep. Eating sleep-promoting foods like avocados and bananas offer nutritional value, and the high amounts of potassium can help you relax before bedtime and get a better night’s sleep. Additionally, they satisfy your late-night cravings without giving you a bellyache. This way, you won’t have to worry about going to bed on an empty stomach or worry about sleeping interruptions.
This article is for informational purposes and should not replace advice from your doctor or other medical professional.