Snacking late at night may not be the best for your diet or your best sleep. But if you know that hunger won’t let you sleep either, you can make exceptions (not as a habit) and eat something at midnight.
Opt for delicious but healthy snacks – there are even some that help promote sleep. Here are some options.
Oatmeal gives you satiety and promotes your sleep. Oatmeal contains tryptophan, an amino acid that the brain converts to serotonin, which relaxes the body before falling asleep.
Oatmeal also contains melatonin which improves sleep efficiency, a study in the journal Nutrients found that eating foods rich in melatonin can help with insomnia.
Opt for natural oatmeal with no added sweeteners. Add cinnamon and a little walnuts.
2. Shake with skim milk
A milk-based shake provides you with protein for muscle repair and tryptophan, an amino acid that is used to produce serotonin and melatonin that promote sleep, Healtline publishes. An 8-ounce (240 ml) shake with low-fat milk and pineapple contains an average of 160 calories.
3. Cherries acidic
Consuming a cup of tart cherries can help you sleep better. These berries are a natural source of melatonin, a hormone responsible for drowsiness, explains Andrea Mathis, nutrition specialist at Eating Well.
Other components of cherries that promote sleep are magnesium, tryptophan and anthocyanins, which can help the body create melatonin and prolong its effects. Sweet cherries tend to be darker in color, while tart cherries retain their bright red color after being picked.
Yogurt is rich in protein (especially casein) and calcium. Like milk, it contains tryptophan, an amino acid that promotes the production of serotonin and melatonin.
Choose plain, unsweetened yogurt, either strained (Greek) or unstrained, although strained has fewer calories. You can enjoy a 3/4 cup serving of yogurt accompanied with berries like strawberries.
Pistachios have healthy fats, protein, and fiber, and they’re loaded with sleep-promoting melatonin. “A handful have 6.5 mg of melatonin and most melatonin supplements contain 0.5 to 5 grams, so this is a much better way to get melatonin naturally,” says dietitian Eshani Ewing to The Healthy.
Hummus is made with chickpeas, which are rich in fiber, protein, folate, iron, phosphorus, and healthy fats. They help you keep your blood sugar levels stable and help you feel full.
Chickpeas also promote better sleep because they are rich in tryptophan, so your body can produce serotonin.
7. Banana with peanut butter
A satisfying and nutritious snack for a good night’s sleep. Peanut butter is a good source of healthy fats, vitamin E, and magnesium. While the banana can help increase the levels of melatonin to promote your sleep.
The banana contains vitamin B6 that helps the body to produce serotonin and dopamine; it also contains tryptophan to help produce melatonin and serotonin.
Eggs have several advantages. They cook quickly, are a good source of protein, are filling, and are only 78 calories.
For better sleep, eggs contain melatonin, L-ornithine, and vitamin D.