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The Best Late Night Snacks to Eat Before You Sleep

by BetterSleep
Apr 13 • 4 min read
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Do you tend to wake up with a rumbling stomach or go to bed still hungry? It’s okay to snack before bed — but not all bedtime snacks are created equal. Read on to learn about the best bedtime snacks to help you sleep better.

Is It Ok to Eat Sugar Before bed?

Your favorite bedtime snack could be keeping you up at night without you knowing.

Common bedtime snacks you might have enjoyed before tend to be on the sugary side. Foods like cereal, chocolate milk, or ice cream can bring back some comforting childhood nostalgia.

However, studies show that snacks that are low in fibre and high in simple sugars and saturated fats can affect your sleep in negative ways. For instance, it can make your sleep less restorative and make you toss and turn more often.

Another study uncovered even more interesting information about eating before sleep — after participants ate sweets before bed like cookies and cake, 31% of them experienced strange and disturbing dreams.

What About Alcoholic Drinks?

While alcoholic drinks can help you wind down and relax before bed, their effects can also disturb sleep.

It can also lead to a dangerous cycle. As your body gets used to alcohol, you’ll need more of it to fall asleep. This is why using alcoholic drinks for sleep is linked to risks of developing alcohol addiction.

Read our blog post about bedtime drinks to find a relaxing alternative that works for you.

Healthier Bedtime Snack Options for Optimal Sleep

So if you’re not supposed to eat sugary foods before bedtime, what should you be eating instead?

One study found that choosing a low-calorie snack with carbohydrates or protein 30 minutes before sleep can help boost your metabolism in the morning. Just make sure to choose complex carbohydrates instead of simple ones like sugar.

Here are some examples of good snacks to munch on before you sleep:

  • Oatmeal: Whether you like your oatmeal hot or cold, this snack is a great choice to keep you full at night. Its complex carbs blend well with other ingredients like nuts, seeds, dried fruit, and yogurt.
  • Apple or banana with nut butter: The sweetness of fruit with the protein of the nut butter is a delicious and filling combo that can be prepared quickly before bed.
  • Nuts and seeds: On their own, nuts and seeds can be delicious and filling enough. Just make sure to measure out your portion instead of eating from a container. It can be easy to overindulge. A small handful is more than enough to satisfy a craving and keep you full while you sleep.
  • Low-sugar cereal: If you want to enjoy a bowl of cereal before bed, choose an option that has less sugar and more fibre.
  • Greek yogurt: Did you know that a diet with enough calcium can lead to more restorative sleep? Not only does greek yogurt have calcium, but it’s also creamy, delicious, and packed with protein that will keep you full throughout the night. If you don’t like greek yogurt, other yogurt options make fine evening snacks as well.

Even with a settled stomach, it can be difficult to sleep with an unsettled mind. Try the BetterSleep App for free to access a vast library of relaxing sounds, soothing bedtime stories, and guided sleep meditations to improve the quality of your sleep.

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