8 of the Best Snacks That Won't Ruin Your Sleep
We've all been there, laying in bed trying desperately to sleep but your stomach is grumbling, and no matter how much you toss and turn, trying to find a comfortable position, it's just not happening.
You're hungry but have been told that eating after 7pm leads to weight gain, indigestion, nightmares and seriously damages your sleep. This is true- but only if you eat the wrong foods. After all, if you go to bed hungry, you're not likely to get a good nights sleep anyway.
You don't have to starve before bed! Here are 8 of the best late-night snacks to curb your hunger without ruining your sleep.
Nuts have a bit of a bad reputation for their high fat content, but pistachios are actually an amazingly healthy option for snacking at night.
Pistachios are a nutritious source of healthy unsaturated fats, fibre, folate, and B vitamins. They also require you to take them out of their shells, resulting in eating more slowly which has been linked to improved digestion, weight loss and feeling fuller.
Low in carbohydrates and high in protein, cottage cheese is a great late-night snack. 2/3 of a cup of full fat (it contains healthy fats!) cottage cheese is all you need to curb your hunger and leave you feeling fuller for longer.
Additionally, buying cheese that has live cultures in it will also give you a gut healthy dose of probiotics.
Apple slices with peanut butter
If you fancy something both sweet and salty, apple slices with a tablespoon of peanut butter is a satisfying snack that isn't taxing on your stomach.
Apples are full of fibre to keep your digestive system healthy and peanut butter is a great source of protein that will fill you up without making your stomach feel bloated before sleep. Be sure to opt for natural, organic peanut butter or almond butter- it may cost a little more but many generic, cheaper brands are full of oil, excess salt and sugar.
Blueberries with Greek yogurt
A cup of blueberries is full of satiating fibre and antioxidants making it the perfect snack before bed. At only around 85 calories per cup this super-fruit is a fantastic low-calorie way to stave off the tummy grumbles!
Adding some protein-rich, full fat Greek yogurt (opt for sugar free) will keep you full and satisfied right until the morning.
In a previous post about cravings, I discussed how chocolate isn't the forbidden snack we all think it is. As long as you choose a good quality dark chocolate, a few blocks (not an entire bar of course) is fine to curb your cravings. Although it does contain caffeine, it's not enough to keep you awake, as long as you keep the portion size to around 1-2 ounces.
Cacao-rich dark chocolate contains free-radical fighting antioxidants. It's also a great source of magnesium which is used to treat insomnia and known for it's de-stressing properties and for relaxing the muscles, helping you wind down for a good nights sleep after a stressful day.
Dried figs and Babybell
Snack on 3 or 4 dried figs with a Babybell to keep away those night-time hunger pangs without losing any sleep.
This healthy midnight snack will prevent further snacking due to the healthy dose of fibre from the figs, while the Babybell adds a satisfying source of protein and fat. Not a fan of Babybell? Opt for a slice of cheddar, cheese string, or a triangle such as Laughing Cow instead!
A banana makes a perfect bed time snack. At only around 100 calories, a medium banana is loaded with fibre to satiate your appetite and promote a healthy digestive system.
Bananas also contain tryptophan, an amino acid that produces serotonin- a natural mood booster and chemical known for producing healthy sleep patterns.
Almonds are one of the best snacks to eat when you're feeling peckish but don't want to compromise your sleep. Like dark chocolate, they're packed with magnesium and studies have also show that they reduce cholesterol levels.
1/4 cup of raw or unsalted almonds provides a good source of fat to satisfy hunger and keep your tummy from rumbling. If you want to add a little flavour to your almonds without adding salt, here's a tasty spiced almonds recipe.
Whether you've worked a late shift, haven't had time with your busy schedule to actually eat 3 meals a day (who does these days), or you're just feeling peckish during a late-night Netflix binge, it isn't a sin to eat at night.
Eating carb heavy snacks full of refined sugar and processed packaged foods will of course leave you feeling uncomfortable, bloated and seriously hinder your sleep. Snacking on foods high in fibre, healthy fats, vitamins and protein however is the perfect cure for late-night hunger. You'll be satisfied and full until morning, fuel your body with nutrients it needs and may even improve your sleep instead of ruining it!
What's your favourite late-night snack?