Feeling hunger pangs just before heading to bed? Maybe you had an early dinner, or am sleeping late or just had a busy day thus burning more calories. You’re definitely not alone! It is said to avoid late night meals as it contributes to weight gain, but however if you are really hungry, here are some recommended snacks to munch on before you sleep!
Oats contain Melatonin as well as a whole lot of other vitamins and minerals such as vitamin B, Magnesium, Selenium, Iron and many more. Melatonin is a hormone that triggers the body to sleep when it is dark. Magnesium is also shown to reduce insomnia in older adults. Thus, a warm bowl of oatmeal is a great pre-bedtime snack if you are feeling a bit hungry at night.
Tart cherries are also a great bedtime snack as they contain Melatonin too. Another great benefit of tart cherries is that it contains a good amount of Tryptophan and Anthocyanins. These compounds help the body to produce melatonin as well. Eating tart cherries or even consuming them in juice form is a great way to help you ease into bed due to the melatonin. You can also add it into a protein shake or add it into your oatmeal as well!
Dairy foods like yoghurt also contain Melatonin and not to mention contains a high amount of Calcium too. Research has shown that Calcium makes it easier to fall asleep and also leads to better sleep quality. In addition, yoghurt contains gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), which is an important neurotransmitter that helps to prepare the body for sleep. Try to go for plain yoghurt instead of yoghurts containing processed sugars as those may give you a sugar high which makes it harder to sleep.
Like all the other foods mentioned above, nuts contain natural Melatonin and are not too heavy snacks to consume before sleeping. Nuts also contain many minerals, vitamins and healthy fats that are good for the body in general. It is also easy to add nuts to other snacks such as the ones mentioned like yoghurt or oatmeal.
In general, foods that are recommended before bedtime are foods that usually contain Melatonin, Tryptophan and Magnesium as these tend to aid sleeping and improve sleep quality. Foods to avoid would be foods that are high in processed sugars, caffeine, foods that are fatty and spicy as well as foods containing alcohol or alcoholic drinks. These foods are known to cause short term insomnia as well as negatively impact sleep quality.