We have all been there. Lying in bed, stomach growling and struggling to fall asleep. It’s too late to cook a full meal so all you need is a nice healthy snack to stop the rumbling in your tummy and help you fall asleep. These are our favorite healthy late-night snacks to satisfy those midnight cravings.
Cereal & Milk
Let’s start off simple with our first healthy late-night snack. Probably the most basic breakfast out there – cereal with milk – is the first nibble on our list.
One study found that eating high-glycemic carbohydrates, which most corn-cereals are, before you hit the leaba reduced the time taken to fall asleep. So, for all you Insomniacs out there this may be the answer!
Keep the serving sizes low, especially if you suffer from heartburn, as heavy meals can exacerbate the problem. The calcium in dairy plays a fundamental role in the production of the sleep hormone melatonin and acts as a natural relaxant for the body.
Stressed out? Have a cuppa beanna.
Bowl of Berries
Another simple snack. Berries are not only loaded with fiber, which fills you up, but they also contain magnesium, which relaxes the nerves and muscles in your body.
It’s probably best to serve your berries Han Solo, or add some chopped nuts or granola, or a drop of milk.
Our neighbors across the pond call it peanut butter and jelly. Others call it choke and slide, fluffernutter, and even gooey gobbler.
The peanut butter and jam sandwich is a perfect night time snack to help you get to sleep faster. Peanut butter contains an amino acid call tryptophan. Tryptophan gets converted in the brain to melatonin, which promotes sleepiness.
However, carbs like bread and jam are needed to make tryptophan more available to the brain. Therefore, it is the perfect combo for a pre-slumber snack. Also, if you’re feeling extra fitspo you can opt for whole grain bread and sugar-free peanut butter.
Cheese & Crackers
If you are in the mood for something savory, a safe choice is cheese and crackers. Keep an eye of your portion sizes though as eating a lot of cheese can rack up your caloric intake. You may want to opt for whole grain crackers, which contain filling fiber.
You can try adding some grapes, apple slices, or whatever fruit you please.
Fun fact: Cheese has also been shown to increase the amount of time you spend in REM sleep. So, if you want to have some vivid dreams stock up on the cheese!
Fresh Veggies & Dip
If you want something crunchy and low in calories, then this will do the job. Any combination of raw carrots, broccoli florets, cucumber slices, celery, pepper, and many more can help eradicate that growl in your stomach.
If you want to enhance the flavor and get some calcium into you also, then use a dip made from low-fat cottage cheese, hummus, or Greek yogurt.
Most people’s favorite snack is also a great late-night nibble to satisfy those midnight munchies. 3 cups of air-popped popcorn have less than 100 calories and around 4 grams of fiber to satisfy that hunger. Skip out on the butter if you don’t want that dad bod.
Fresh Fruit & Nuts
This easy to make snack is an ideal option if you’re tired from a busy day. Both fruit and nuts bring a lot of nutritional benefits to the table (if you pardon the pun) including vitamins, minerals, protein, complex carbs, healthy fats, and fiber.
- An apple with a handful of almonds
- A banana with a dozen pecans
- Or a pear with some walnuts.
You can also try spreading peanut butter on banana slices (a favorite of mine) or dipping apple slices in almond butter.
An Irish person’s favorite go-to breakfast can also act as a great late-night snack. It is a fantastic source of beta-glucan, which is a filling fiber that can help keep your cholesterol levels in check.
Try using some instant porridge with fat-free milk, 1 tablespoon maple syrup, a sprinkle of cinnamon, and some dried fruit. It will have you snoozing in no time.
These little furry delicious fruits are both nutritious and figure friendly.
Two Kiwis contain only about 93 calories, 5 grams of fiber, and 190% of your Vitamin C RDI.
Kiwis are also one of few fruits containing a substantial amount of serotonin, which is the nerve messenger that relaxes your body and help you fall asleep better. It also helps you curb your carb cravings.
Our last healthy late-night snack is these delicious little nuts stand out among others of its kinds for their high levels of the sleep-promoting hormone, melatonin. Few plant foods contain as much melatonin as pistachios.
One ounce (28 grams) of shelled pistachios, has about 160 calories and about 6.5mg of melatonin.
The amount of melatonin typically recommended to aid sleep is 0.5mg – 5mg.
To Sum It All Up
If you’re hungry or even just bored late at night, eating a snack that’s under 200 calories really shouldn’t tip the scales.
Aim for minimally processed foods like your fruits, nuts, yogurt, and eggs to make your tasty late-night snack.
Remember, the most important thing to keep in mind when making healthy snacks is to enjoy them, so feel free to experiment and see what works best for you.