Even if you try to limit your after dinner snacking, some nights snack attacks are just unavoidable.
Maybe your tummy demands feeding before you can slip off to sleep. Or that late night double feature you’re watching just wouldn’t be the same without some munchies to go along with it.
I get it. It happens to all of us.
And the good news is you can indulge in a late night snack from time to time without destroying your healthy diet. And without dooming yourself to tossing and turning half the night, either.
In fact, in some cases the snack you choose can help you get a better night’s sleep.
Top 5 healthy snacks for a good night’s sleep
Following are my top five choices for healthy snacks that won’t harm your diet OR your sleep.
Next time you’re at the grocery store, pick up some walnuts, almonds and pistachios to make your own homemade nut mix. Toss them all into an airtight storage container and grab it the next time you’re rooting around the kitchen in search of healthy snacks.
Scoop yourself out about an ounce for a delicious treat that can also help you sleep. Because along with being loaded with healthy fats and other nutrients you need, these three nuts are especially good at ushering in a restful night’s sleep.
Walnuts are an excellent source or melatonin, a hormone which naturally helps us sleep. Almonds provide magnesium which, according to a study published in the Journal of Research in Medical Science, is associated with better sleep in seniors.
And finally, the pistachios bring magnesium and vitamin B-6 to the table. The B-6 works with your body to produce the neurotransmitter serotonin, which helps regulate our sleep patterns.
Fruit is a great snack any time of day, but bananas are especially good at night. When you eat one you’re getting a good supply of sleep supporting magnesium and B-6, as well as potassium.
A study on potassium and sleep out of the University of California, San Diego found that potassium in the evenings significantly increases sleep time and quality. Which means bananas are a dream snack for dream time.
3. Dark chocolate:
If you prefer to end your day with a touch of sweet, dark chocolate is a great choice. This rich and delicious snack can even help you get some shut-eye. Dark chocolate contains serotonin, which is essential to sleep.
For an added treat, melt your dark chocolate in a mug of warm milk. Because several studies have found those old wives’ were right all along.
Warm milk really can help you sleep better, thanks to its tryptophan content. Your body uses tryptophan to create serotonin and melatonin, both of which play important roles in helping us fall asleep and stay asleep.
Steel cut oatmeal works just as well for a late-night snack as it does for breakfast. The healthy carbs will fill that hole in your belly and can help you start to feel drowsy. Plus, oatmeal contains melatonin, so you can go from feeling sleepy to asleep in no time.
5. Cheese and bell pepper slices:
This unexpected combo could turn out to be the best bedtime snack on the list. First, there’s the calcium in the cheese. According to European researchers, getting too little calcium in your diet can cause sleep disturbances.
Calcium can help ease muscle spasms, twitches, or cramps that keep you from falling asleep or staying that way. Plus cheese contains tryptophan, which your brain uses to produce sleep triggering melatonin.
And don’t forget the sweet bell pepper slices. They make a perfect stand in for crispy crackers. Plus they’re a good source of tryptophan on their own. And if you pick the red bells, you’ll be getting an extra shot of melatonin too.
The next time a late night snack attack hits don’t panic. Just pick one of these healthy snacks which won’t harm your diet and can HELP you sleep.
She is an advocate of self-education and is passionate about the power of group knowledge sharing, like the kind found right here on HealthierTalk.com. Alice loves to share her views on holistic and natural healing as well as her, sometimes contentious, thoughts on the profit-driven inner workings of traditional medicine.
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