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Dear Dave: What’s the Best Bedtime Snack?

Scranton, PA — Bedtime snacks aren’t just for kids – many adults get hungry right before hitting the sack. This letter from a reader prompted me to find ten snacks that are great for when you have the bedtime munchies. 

I received this email from Roger, a Better Sleep Store customer and loyal reader of the blog:

Dear Dave,

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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Banana – Bananas contain the natural muscle-relaxants magnesium and potassium. Bananas are also carbs, which can help make you sleepy.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Greek Yogurt – Low in calories and full of protein, this is another good choice.
  9. 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.
  10. Popcorn –  A small serving of popcorn is easy to digest, and popcorn is also full of healthy whole grains.


I used, and to assist me in finding the ten tastiest and easiest bedtime snacks. All sources recommended one common tip, though – whatever you eat, eat lightly!

Related Content

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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