Late-night healthy snacks are not a bad thing if eaten in moderation. Snacking at night can actually help you sleep while balancing out digestion and hormones that help your body rest and relax. If you want to indulge in a perfect and healthy late night snack, try eating one of these 10 suggestions that will satisfy you and make you sleepy. We do recommend you don’t eat in the hour before going to bed.
Tip: Warm food feels more filling than cold, and the volume of the liquid tricks your stomach into thinking it has ingested something hearty.
- Miso soup – It’s so warm, comforting, and savory; with perfect little bites of tofu and seaweed in every scoop. Miso is made from soy and contains many amino acids, including tryptophan. Those amino acids can also increase the production of melatonin. If you haven’t been sleeping well lately, have a bowl of miso soup for dinner to help fight your insomnia.
- Butternut squash soup– A cup of thick, rich butternut squash soup is soothing and easy to digest. When eating this soup, try to avoid anything with beans or lentils.
- Egg Drop Soup– Eggs are a rich source of protein that fills you up and helps you stay asleep throughout the night. One cup of egg drop soup contains 65 calories and 1.47 grams of total fat, of which 0.4 grams is saturated. If you’re not a fan of the soup, consider making hard-boiled or scrambled eggs instead.
Tip: Carbohydrates are often praised for their ability to help us sleep in small doses; they help increase the level of tryptophan in the blood, a hormone that helps you achieve a good night’s sleep.
- High fiber cereal and milk– Since it offers an excellent balance of protein and carbohydrates, cereal with milk is actually the perfect bedtime snack. Proteins contain an amino acid called tryptophan, which can make you feel sleepy, and carbohydrates help tryptophan reach the brain more easily. Make sure the cereal is low in sugar!
- Oatmeal– Homemade oatmeal is quite nourishing and filling, which means you won’t wake up in the middle of the night with hunger pains. Oatmeal is also a good source of the sleep-inducing magnesium, as well as potassium, calcium, and phosphorus. Oatmeal is a cornerstone of healthy snacks!
- Spicy popcorn– The carbs in air-popped popcorn stimulate the release of insulin, which has been proven to control your circadian clock, according to a new study on mice published in the journal Cell Reports. Dust your popcorn with some cinnamon or paprika; both spices have been shown to give your metabolism a boost. Do not add extra salt though!
- Whole grain toast with almond butter– This combination may seem like an obvious healthy breakfast option. Almond butter with whole grain offers a good dose of magnesium, which helps prevent insomnia and muscle cramps. You can also add fruits such as peaches, apple slices, or bananas to make it tastier.
Tip: Fruits and vegetables are calorie friendly and often full of fiber.
- Banana with peanut butter– Bananas are a great source of magnesium that also serves up tryptophan and other vital nutrients, which makes them the perfect snack to have at night- as long as it is in moderation because bananas are high in sugar and peanut butter has fat!
- Edamame– This is the great alternative to a bag of chips to satisfy your late night salty craving. Edamame is a soy product that is especially helpful for postmenopausal women, who deal with hot flashes during the night.
- Cherries– Snacking on a cup of sour cherries might just do the trick to satisfy your late night craving. Cherries can increase the body’s production of melatonin, a hormone that naturally makes you feel sleepy. A great alternative will be a cold glass of cherry juice.