Many of us have learned to eat before bed is a bad idea. But what should you do if you wake up in the middle of the night with a growling stomach, or if you can not fall asleep because you were already hungry before bed? Or sometimes you just want a snack while, even if you are not so hungry. Regardless of the cause of the snack, some snacks before bed are healthier than others.
“Fast food can be healthy and can help you sleep better,” says Tony Castillo, a registered nutritionist and dietitian at Nutrition for Performance. He says that people who exercise regularly and are particularly active can benefit from it, as you can add nutrients that can help your muscles repair and recover while you sleep.
However, there are some foods you may want to avoid eating before going to bed, as they can interfere with your sleep. You want to avoid junk foods that are high in sugar and processed carbohydrates, as they can prevent you from getting a good night’s sleep. “The rapidly digesting carbohydrates can cause an increase in energy,” says Castillo.
Anything else you want to avoid before going to bed? Spicy foods, as they can cause acid reflux, and no one wants to wake up to digestive problems all night. Another common heart burner is chocolate because it contains a lot of fat and contains other ingredients that can move with digestion at night.
Continue reading below for more tips on nutrition at bedtime and ideas for healthy snacks that can help you sleep better tonight.
Healthy food to eat at night
In addition to focusing on balancing nutrition with high-quality foods (like the ones below) at night, you should also consider planning your snacks in a way that does not interfere with sleep. This can vary from person to person, but you usually want to avoid eating immediately before going to bed.
“There are some individuals who can eat something just before bedtime and have no problems. Others may need a break of two hours. [before bed] because eating the food can cause acid reflux, Castillo says. It may take some trial and error, but giving yourself some space to digest before bed can help prevent problems.
Focus on carbohydrates and high-fiber protein
“I recommend a slow-melting protein and high-fiber carbohydrates,” says Castillo. “You want the slowly digesting protein to keep the muscle building switch on while you sleep. You want a high-fiber carbohydrate because a fast-melting carbohydrate can cause a blood sugar peak and keep you awake.”
Slow digest and high fiber carbohydrates are the ones that tend to be easier for you, helps avoid nails or subsequent crashes. Examples of slowly digesting carbohydrates are whole grains, oats, brown rice, fruits and vegetables. Slowly digested proteins include casein, which is found in dairy products, such as yogurt and cheese, and is available as a protein powder. Peanut butter is also useful to eat before bed because it contains tryptophan, which helps your brain and muscles to relax.
Examples of healthy bedding:
- Protein drink
- Peanut butter and wholemeal bread
- Greek yogurt and berries
- Almond butter and fruit
- Cheese and fruit
Specific foods that can help you sleep
Some foods can promote better sleep for reasons other than helping you feel full. Some foods naturally contain nutrients that promote sleep-like effects, the hormone that makes you feel sleepy.
Foods that can help you sleep:
The information in this article is intended for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a doctor or other qualified healthcare provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health problem.