Feeling Snackish Late at Night?
Try these 6 tips to quell those late-night cravings and get a better sleep
The two main reasons people avoid late-night snacking are thoughts of weight gain and trouble sleeping. There are mixed opinions in the health community about the effect of snacking late at night. But I say, it matters what you eat more than when you eat it.
We all know we need sleep, and that sleep is integral to our health. Not getting enough sleep may also interfere with your fitness goals and/or prevent weight loss. So make sure to eat foods that promote better sleep, or at least don’t compromise it. And if you’re genuinely hungry, eat! Because having a healthy wholesome snack before bed will help you to relax and fall asleep.
Here are 6 tips to help you sleep better after that late night treat:
1- Avoid Too Much Late-Night Protein
A little protein is good because it keeps you full and helps build and repair muscle. But since protein actually stimulates alertness and takes more time to digest, you should avoid eating a heavy protein meal before bed. Try getting your more hearty protein meal in at lunch.
2- Avoid Late-Night Alcohol
Alcohol may make you sleepy, but it causes sleep disturbances in the middle of the night and you wake up without having really hit that refresh button hard enough.
3- Eat Tryptophan
You know, that amino acid in turkey that makes you sleepy. Spinach and whole grains also have tryptophan and give you that tryptophan dose without all the protein of that turkey.
4- Eat Melatonin
Tart cherries, cherry juice, and oats all have melatonin. A small portion of these will provide some melatonin without overdoing it on the sugars.
5- Eat Vitamin B6
B6 foods stimulate the production of sleep hormones. The lower-protein B6 foods include pistachios, apricots, raisins, spinach, bell peppers, fortified cereals, spinach, broccoli, asparagus, turnip greens, and sweet potatoes.
6- Eat Potassium and Magnesium
These minerals are natural muscle relaxers. They will help your body know it’s time to relax. Whole grains, nuts and seeds, and dark green leafy vegetables are high in magnesium. Bananas, oranges, potatoes, apricots and yogurt are good sources of potassium.
A good late-night snack is okay- good even- if you’re hungry. You just want to avoid mindless munching on foods that will inhibit your sleep. Plan out a few snackish foods and par them off when you’re making sensible decisions to set yourself up for success later. Try a small bowl of oatmeal with apricots, or a yogurt and a handful of pistachios. Happy snacking!