5 healthy snacks for bedtime
Do you need a snack to help you sleep soundly at night? Do you want to keep a grumbling stomach at bay without turning to the standard milk and cookies?
The good news is that there are lots of healthy before bedtime snacks that can help you to feel satisfied when you hit the hay. Listed below are 5 of the best options to consider.
1. Tart Cherries
Tart cherries are a low-calorie snack (about 140 calories for 40 grams) that’s rich in antioxidants and contains potent anti-inflammatory properties. They also contain a small amount of melatonin, which helps to regulate your sleep-wakefulness cycle and makes it easier for you to stay asleep.
Some research even suggests tart cherries can help with insomnia. One study of older women with insomnia, for example, showed that those who drank tart cherry juice in the morning and 1-2 hours before bedtime got approximately one and a half hours more sleep than those who received a placebo drink.
A small handful of almonds (about ¼ cup) provides you with some melatonin, protein, and magnesium, all of which can help you sleep more soundly.
You now know the benefits of melatonin, but did you know that eating a snack that contains protein will help you to feel full and avoid waking up hungry in the middle of the night. Magnesium supports sleep quality, too, partly because it promotes muscle relaxation.
Oatmeal (and other types of hot cereal, such as creamed rice or cream of wheat) is a good source of fiber, which can help to curb hunger and avoid waking up with a growling stomach. Oats and other grains are a natural source of melatonin, too.
If the idea of a bowl of plain oatmeal doesn’t appeal to you, mix in a little honey, stir in some nut butter, or sprinkle some cinnamon on top.
4. Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds are great night snacks that contain protein and magnesium, which (as we mentioned above) promotes muscle relaxation and makes it easier for you to fall asleep.
Pumpkin seeds contain tryptophan, too. Tryptophan is an amino acid (a building block of protein) that the body needs to produce melatonin and support proper sleep and wakefulness cycles.
Yogurt is an easy nighttime snack that won’t just satisfy your hunger (and your sweet tooth if you mix in some fruit or honey).
One of the main reasons yogurt is a great bedtime snack is that it’s a good source of calcium (many non-dairy yogurts also contain calcium, which is good news for those with lactose intolerance).
Calcium is a mineral that plays a key role in supporting the body’s ability to process tryptophan, melatonin, and other chemicals that support healthy sleep cycles.
Try These Before Bedtime Snacks Tonight
Whether you prefer sweet or savory night snacks, you’ve got plenty of options to choose from. If you’ve been stuck in a snack rut, give one (or more) of the items on this list a try tonight!