I received this email from Roger, a Better Sleep Store customer and loyal reader of the blog:
I’ve heard numerous times that you’re not supposed to eat right before bed, but, even if I eat a good dinner, I get hungry right around 10 every night. If I have to have a snack right before bed, what’s the best thing for me to eat?
What’s the Best Bedtime Snack?
Chances are, you’ve also heard that it’s not a good idea to eat before bedtime. As I did some research, though, I quickly learned that some snacks can actually help you sleep. Here are some options.
Ten Bedtime Snacks
- Ham & Cheese Roll-Up – Two small slices (one of ham and one of cheese) rolled up in a mini-tortilla stop stomach rumbles and give you metabolism-boosting proteins.
- Cottage Cheese & Fruit – Cottage cheese is a good source of protein that helps create sleep-promoting amino acids. This light snack won’t keep you up, either.
- Cherries – Cherries are one of the few natural foods that contain melatonin, the chemical that helps control your body’s internal clock. Drinking tart cherry juice has been linked to sleeping soundly.
- Banana – Bananas contain the natural muscle-relaxants magnesium and potassium. Bananas are also carbs, which can help make you sleepy.
- Walnuts – Try eating a handful of walnuts before bed. Eating these nuts have been proven to increase levels of the sleep-inducing melatonin in your blood.
- Milk – Try enjoying a glass of warm milk before bed (you can add a spoonful of vanilla extract for some extra flavor). Milk contains the amino acid tryptophan, which is a precursor to the brain chemical serotonin, that might make it easier for you to sleep.
- Cereal – If you’re extra hungry, have cereal with your milk. Healthy cereals made of shredded wheat, quinoa or barley have good complex carbs that are suitable for bedtime.
- Greek Yogurt – Low in calories and full of protein, this is another good choice.
- Hummus – A small serving of hummus with some pita squares is a good bedtime snack. Why? The chickpeas in hummus are packed with vitamin B6, which is a necessary component in the production of melatonin.
- Popcorn – A small serving of popcorn is easy to digest, and popcorn is also full of healthy whole grains.
I used prevention.com, health.com and healthydietbase.com to assist me in finding the ten tastiest and easiest bedtime snacks. All sources recommended one common tip, though – whatever you eat, eat lightly!
Curious about what happens when you drink coffee or wine before bed, too? Check out last month’s Dear Dave blog.
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Photo by jules.