A regular bedtime? What’s that?
With the hustle and bustle of work, social life (both online and offline), and daily to-dos, it’s hard to get everything we need to get done in a day. We end up staying up late to finish that paper, send that email, or simply to finally get some “me time”.
The hours past dinner rack up, and next thing you know, you’re hungry again. Are there alternatives to cold pizza and ice cream that are not only healthy, but that will help you sleep better? Yes! Here are 7 great late-night snacks you can have on-hand or make in minutes to tide you over.
What to Look for (and What to Avoid) in a Late-Night Snack
Late night snacks can either rev up your energy or help you sleep better. In other words, you don’t want snacks that will make you hyper when you are about to go to sleep.
If your tummy is rumbling but you are on your way to bed, you want to avoid foods that are:
- High in sugar and refined carbohydrates, like candy, desserts, cake, white bread, ice cream, pizza, and other similar foods
- High in caffeine, like tea, coffee, chocolate, and colas
- Citrus fruits and other acidic foods
- Foods to which you are sensitive
Instead, look for foods that are high in:
- Magnesium, a mineral that is a natural muscle relaxant
- Components that boost serotonin levels, a hormone that contributes to the onset of sleep
- Components that help to naturally boost melatonin, which helps to regulate the body’s biological clock
- Protein, especially those that contain significant amounts of the essential amino acid tryptophan, as it may help to improve sleep quality
7 Late-Night Snack Foods
Below is a list of late-night snack foods that are not only delicious, but will also help you sleep better.
1. Trail Mix
Pick a trail mix with nuts, and unsweetened dried fruit, but skip those that are have chocolate or other sweets. It will give you a satisfying crunch with magnesium, thanks to the nuts, without the refined carbs of cookies or crackers.
2. A Slice of Deli Turkey
It is high in protein, specifically tryptophan, which can help to promote sleep.
3. Leftover Grilled Chicken
Like turkey, it has tryptophan and high-quality protein. It will curb hunger without spiking your sugar.
4. Whole Wheat Toast with Peanut Butter
The whole wheat is digested slowly and boosts melatonin, and won’t give you the rush of energy that refined carbohydrate foods do.
5. Low-Fat Yogurt
It provides protein, and mixed with fruit, is a great snack for the sweet tooth (much better than ice cream, too!).
6. Hard-Boiled Eggs
It is high in tryptophan, contains magnesium, and is a dietary source of melatonin.
7. Tuna Fish Salad
Fish, like eggs, are a great source of tryptophan and other amino acids. It’s also a source of naturally occurring melatonin.
See? You can indulge in those late-night snacks without having to feel guilty or – even worse – hyperactive late at night. These foods help to boost chemicals in your body and brain that will help you have better quality sleep.
Rather than reaching for those chocolate chip cookies, refer to this list for quick and satisfying late-night snacks that will help you get some extra Zzzs.
Did you know?
When you commit to building heathy sleep habits, you take the first step to become your healthiest self – one full night of good sleep at a time. Check out our Complete Guide to Sleep Disorders – a resource to help you get your quality sleep back. Learn more about sleep disorders, their causes, symptoms and how to overcome them.