We try everything to get a good night’s sleep. Whether it’s keeping the phone away from the bed or changing your mattress, one thing we can’t control is our hunger.
It seems like our body is craving food late at night on purpose. Like it’s testing us. No matter how hard we try, there are some nights where we need to eat or else our stomach will eat itself.
Contrary to popular belief, eating at night isn’t bad for you. It all depends on what and how much you eat.
Too often people reach for “simple” snacks like chocolate or cookies. But a late-night snack doesn’t have to be unhealthy. Even if you eat a small amount, you want your snack to be beneficial to your health. Moreover, a healthy snack will help you sleep better and actually lose weight.
While you may feel like your options are limited at night, there is a plethora of foods you can choose from that tasty and guilt-free. Not only that, the foods that are listed will help you sleep better as well. Here is the list of win-win late night snacks:
Eggs pack an insane amount of protein and nutrition. The yolks contain a lot of fat so egg whites are perfect for a late night snack. Have it by itself or make an egg salad if you want to add a little extra nutrition. Just go easy on the dressing.
Each egg contains 84 mg of tryptophan, which is partly responsible for creating serotonin. This will boost mood and help you sleep.
Low-Fat Greek Yogurt
Because of its healthy combination of protein, carbs, and fats, yogurt makes a great snack to have at night.
We all know calcium helps build strong bones, but recent research shows the mineral can help improve sleep.
The slow digesting nature of dairy protein can help reduce hunger the morning as well. Add some fruit to provide some healthy carbs and sweetness.
If you are prone to indigestion and heart burn, then make sure to opt for low fat.
Hummus and crackers or veggies
When chickpeas are combined with tahini, hummus becomes a complete protein. That means it contains all nine essential amino acids! That makes hummus the perfect nighttime snack.
The complete protein combined with wheat crackers or veggies will leave you satisfied until the morning. This means you will need to eat less the next day!
You can never go wrong with oatmeal. Although it’s usually a breakfast food, oatmeal can be a perfect nighttime snack. The complex carbs and fiber will keep you full through the night and into the morning. What’s more, healthy complex carbs like oatmeal can lead to better blood sugar control.
Add some fruit and seeds to turn this into a nutrient dense nighttime snack.
Cherries provide an additional health benefit that many don’t know: they contain melatonin. So besides providing antioxidants, cherries can help you sleep better.
Be careful, however, because cherries can contain a good amount of natural sugars. If you just need a little bit of food to hold you over until the morning then cherries are perfect. Otherwise, eat a small handful with another healthy snack such as nuts.
If you aren’t trying to prepare anything, then a snack like nuts is perfect. Not only are the fats healthy, they provide a decent amount of protein.
Nuts are also known to contain a decent amount of tryptophan and melatonin. A handful of almonds and pistachios can keep you full while helping you sleep.
Combine nuts with some fruit and you have a mini-meal full of carbs, fat, and protein.
Surprisingly, pumpkin seeds have been linked to better sleep. Besides being a good source of protein and unsaturated fat, pumpkin seeds contain a good amount of magnesium. Magnesium has been linked to better sleep.
The seeds also have a good amount of tryptophan, which is known to increase sleep quality. Eating carbs from a source like fruit can help encourage the brain to turn tryptophan into melatonin.
Bananas and Peanut Butter
Combine these foods to make a healthy combo of carbs and fats. Not to mention, the peanut butter has a decent amount of protein.
Peanut butter is known to have a good amount of tryptophan as well. Bananas complement this well because they boost mood.
Be careful not to overdo it on the peanut butter because the calories add up quick.
These immature soy beans are filled with protein and fiber which will help you get a good night’s sleep. They are also filled with vitamins and minerals so these are the perfect go to snack.
Many believe protein shakes are the best after a workout or in the morning when you are on the go. However, many studies have been showing nighttime protein shake can actually be extremely beneficial to your health.
Not only is it low-carb and low-fat, all the protein taken in can be utilized while you sleep. So not only will you go to sleep feeling satisfyingly full, your muscles are being repaired in the most optimal way.
The best benefit is weight loss. Numerous studies have shown that individuals wake up fuller and eat less the next day. Also, the nighttime protein shake can help increase metabolism. So not only will you eat less, you will lose weight.
The other great thing about protein shakes is that you can customize them however you like. A fruity shake is perfect at night.
Everybody gets hungry at night. Sometimes we have the discipline to stay in our room, but other times we can’t help it and we head to the kitchen. Instead of reaching for your usual snacks, opt for healthier options. You will be surprised, these snacks are tasty and will fill you up much faster than junk food.