13 Best Foods to Eat Before Bed: 10 Best Late-Night Snacks

by | Nutrition

Jul 14, 2021

Most people don’t eat before going to bed because it affects their gut. But, sometimes, you can’t help it because you’re so hungry. Your stomach is on fire, and you can’t even sleep. There are certain foods you can eat at night that won’t affect your stomach. These foods can even make you sleep better so you can wake up feeling fresh. Here is a list of the best food to eat before bed.

1. Bananas

Many people love to eat bananas because it’s delicious and easy to digest. It’s also easy to prepare with several recipes. Apart from their rich fiber content, bananas also help with sleep. That’s why it’s recommended as a super night food for people having trouble sleeping. Banana contains tryptophan, magnesium, and vitamin B6, which are sleep-inducing nutrients (1).

These nutrients also help to reduce stress and anxiety, which encourages quality sleep. In addition, muscles cramps interrupt sleep. So your body benefits a lot from eating bananas at night before bed because it is a natural muscle relaxant. 

2. Walnuts

Food rich in omega-3 fatty acids is good for the heart and blood flow. Walnut is one of the best foods to eat at night because it has omega 3. Walnut lowers blood pressure and contains components that promote sleep. Apart from easy preparation, walnuts are not expensive and can be added to other night meals. 

It also contains antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, which further improves sleep.

3. Turkey 

Like walnuts, turkey is also packed with plenty of amino acids that benefit the body. It contains tryptophan in abundance, which is a naturally occurring amino acid. Tryptophan induces sleep, making turkey a quality best food to eat before bed.

You can prepare turkey in several ways. Some like it cooked, while others preferred fried, roasted, or grilled. Whatever you do, make sure to avoid cooking with oil that isn’t healthy. 

You should also take note of what you’re eating with the turkey. There are several turkey recipes available online for you to enjoy. These recipes are easy to prepare, and you’ll enjoy making delicious meals out of them. 

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4. Oatmeal

If you’re looking for the best meal to eat at night that quickly digests, oatmeal is the answer. Oatmeal is very nutritious as it contains powerful antioxidants. It also has a soluble fiber called Beta-Glucan, which is good for digestion. Eat oatmeal to lower cholesterol levels and protect your LDL cholesterol from damage. 

All these benefits make oatmeal the perfect bedtime meal. It also contains amino acids in large quantities that your body will love. Children and adults will enjoy oatmeal as it has low carbs and calories. 

Oatmeal is also rich in magnesium, Vitamin B1 and Vitamin B5, which help to improve sleep. You can even mix walnuts with your oatmeal to get a double dose of quality sleep. 

5. Almonds

Muscle relaxation is essential for sleep because it calms you down. The hormone melatonin is also necessary for quality bedtime and sleep cycle. Almonds are among the best foods to eat at night because of their sleep-inducing properties (2).

It contains melatonin, calcium, and magnesium, which are vital for good sleep. There are diverse ways to consume almonds and enjoy the taste and benefits. You can eat them raw or toasted, depending on what you prefer.

People also like to eat them as almond butter, almond milk, or almond flour. Whichever way you desire to consume it, make sure it hasn’t been processed. Eating pure almonds is the only guarantee to benefiting from the nutrients. 

6. Popcorn 

Another food to eat before bedtime is popcorn. Grab a bowl of popcorn, add some cheese on top and be ready to sleep away. Apart from the wonderful taste, popcorn is easy to digest, easy to make and works well as a bedtime snack. The cheese on top contains tryptophan which assists the brain to manufacture melatonin. 

Carbs in the popcorn will also make it easy to absorb tryptophan. Be careful with the tendency to watch too much TV or the internet when eating popcorn. Bright light from devices may void the sleep benefits of eating popcorn. 

7. Fish 

For those who love fish, here is another reason to eat it. If you’re having trouble sleeping, eating fish is a great way to overcome the problem. Fish contain healthy omega 3 fatty acids that promote sleep. When you eat fish and sleep well, it helps you to be more active during the day. That way, you get the strength to exercise, which then improves your sleep (3).

You can cook, grill, or fry the fish but make sure you use healthy ingredients. For example, you can add a little potato or rice or eat the fish along with homemade almond milk. 

8. Kiwi

Free radicals are dangerous for the body. They affect the normal functioning of cells and promote inflammation. People with too many free radicals will find it difficult to sleep. That’s why they need to consume food rich in antioxidants. Kiwi is one of the top foods rich in antioxidants. It contains a high dose of Vitamin C, which promotes better sleep. 

A lower amount of vitamin C in the body can lead to sleeplessness and sleep disorders. That’s why some doctors include vitamin C as part of medication for sleep. Eating one of two kiwis will help you fall asleep faster. 

It contains serotonin that stabilizes mood and increases happiness. The kiwi skin is excellent for snacking, and it’s very delicious. For those who’re trying it for the first time, a kiwi tastes like a pineapple. 

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9. White Rice

Many people eat white rice at night in different parts of the world. But very few know that rice helps to improve their sleep. This is because white rice has a high Glycemic Index, which improves sleep. But this may not be for everyone, like those with diabetes, for example. Food with a high Glycemic Index increases blood glucose levels. 

People with diabetes can choose options like almonds and fish, which won’t affect them. There are several ways to prepare white rice for dinner. For extra sleep benefit, add some fish to include some more omega 3 fatty acids. 

You may also eat your rice with turkey if you want. It all depends on what you’re trying to achieve. 

10. Chamomile Tea 

Inflammation and anxiety are two elements that lead to serious sleep problems. When this gets too much, you may experience mild to severe insomnia. For years, people have used Chamomile tea to fight anxiety and stress. 

It also works as a mild tranquilizer that induces sleep. This makes it suitable for nighttime meals. The tea contains apigenin, an antioxidant that gives it its calming effect (4). So, instead of drinking soft drinks and beer, eat your turkey with Chamomile tea. 

The tea will also help improve blood flow which in turn promotes quality sleep. What makes Chamomile tea great is that it doesn’t contain caffeine. So, you can drink it all afternoon and evening and reap the benefits of quality sleep. 

11. Chickpeas 

Leafy greens have a good amount of calcium, and a compound called tryptophan. The combination of these two offers so many benefits for a good night’s sleep. Chickpeas is one of the few foods that contain both tryptophan and calcium. 

Tryptophan is suitable for rest because the body can convert it to melatonin. Chickpeas also have vitamin B6, vitamin C, and magnesium which also help to promote sleep. One of the most popular ways to eat chickpeas is Chickpea hummus. The peas are beaten down into a paste and mixed with sesame seeds to give it a fantastic taste. 

Some people also boil chickpeas and eat them with oil or pepper or other types of seasoning. While chickpeas are suitable for night food, take care to eat them in moderation. 

12. Oranges 

Most people identify oranges with a high amount of vitamin C. That vitamin is the reason why it’s good for sleep and promotes a good night’s rest. Vitamin C increases the level of melatonin by 47%, which is very impressive. But you must be careful not to over-eat oranges because of the acidity and sugar content. 

Most people like to eat oranges as orange juice. To get the full benefit, you should eat it along with the fiber content to improve digestion. You can eat an orange with turkey meal or fish meal instead of water. 

13. Cheese 

Any dairy products like warm milk and cheese can help improve sleep. The golden rule is you must eat it in moderation to avoid indigestion. Cheese promotes quality sleep and contains plenty of calcium. More calcium means higher melatonin and better sleep. 

There are several ways to eat cheese before going to bed. You can add it to turkey, fish, or make a banana and cheese sandwich. These combinations will add more sleep-inducing elements to your body. 

Find more exciting cheese recipes online and try them out. Make sure to avoid any ingredients that may negate the sleep benefits. 

Summary 

Quality bedtime can lead to an active day and better productivity. For people who are having problems sleeping, perhaps it’s time to change their late-night snack. Foods containing antioxidants, tryptophan, serotonin, and melatonin can help improve sleep. Take them in moderation and see as your sleep will improve.

Photo by Victoria Shes on Unsplash

Reference

  1. NCBI: Effects of L-tryptophan on sleepiness and on sleep
  2. NCBI: Investigating the Prevalence of Sleep Disorder and the Impact of Sweet Almond on the Quality of Sleep in Students of Tehran, Iran
  3. Forbes: Eating Fish, Sleep, And Smarts: Here’s What The Study Really Said
  4. NCBI: Investigation effect of oral chamomilla on sleep quality in elderly people in Isfahan: A randomized control trial

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