Sometimes you find yourself hungry for a snack late at night, but one of the core rules of dieting is to cut out the late-night snacking. But what if there was a way to satisfy those cravings without destroying your diet completely? By being especially selective with your snack choices, you can soften the negative effects of late-night snacking, and even benefit from the sleep-promoting effects of nutritious foods. Next time you can’t sleep and get a hankering for something to munch on, reach for one of these healthy, sleep-friendly snack options.
A single banana with a tablespoon of almond butter is roughly 165 calories, making it a great low calorie snack for late-night eating. However, bananas have been shown to increase melatonin levels in the blood, sometimes as much as 4 times in healthy men.
Grab a spoon and eat two of these little fruits an hour before bed to fall asleep faster. Kiwi contains nerve messenger serotonin in abundance, and this causes a relaxing effect in the body. And not only does it help you fall asleep, this serotonin also helps curb cravings, helping you feel more satisfied.
An ounce of shelled pistachios is packed with as much melatonin as the average over-the-counter supplement. Hate pistachios? Try a melatonin supplement in place of this snack!
Perhaps the most well-documented is the effect of tart cherries and their juice on sleep health. Tart cherry juice showed to promote longer sleep in insomnia patients after two weeks of drinking 8 ounces before bed. What’s more, they also contain the phytochemical procyanidin B-2, which has been shown to protect tryptophan and promote melatonin production.
This one is great for those nighttime workouts. Protein is a fantastic choice for late-night snacking if muscle repair is the goal. But if you want to take your smoothie to the next level, make sure it uses milk as the base and add a bit of pineapple. Milk provides your body with tryptophan, promoting sleep, and pineapple is a great source of melatonin.