Let’s face it, most late night nibbles are just as much about cravings as they are hunger – which makes striking the balance between hitting the spot and avoiding sleep-disrupting snacks tricky.
While eating before bed may not be an issue for everyone, those with digestive issues, such as reflux, or who are trying to manage their weight, it’s best to stick to lighter options when eating late.
Try to choose food free from stimulants like sugar and caffeine. For a sleep supportive boost, consider including foods with nutrients like tryptophan, magnesium and B vitamins, which support the body’s natural sleep processes. Read on for treats packed with said nutrients, sure to satsify cravings and send you off to the land of nod…
1. Instant frozen berry yogurt
It’s a catch 22 – we get late night sugar cravings, but sugar releases energy into the body which can keep us awake longer. This naturally sweetened instant frozen berry yogurt could be the solution. The combination of fibre from the berries and protein in the yogurt help to slow down the release of sugar, preventing an energy spike. Yogurt also provides calcium which studies have linked to better sleep, as it is required to produce melatonin, the body’s sleep hormone.
2. Quick banana ice cream
Why not try this creamy banana ice cream for your next movie night? Not only do the banana and milk provide tryptophan to support the body’s production of its sleep hormone, but without additional sugar and fat, it’s a much healthier ice cream option.
3. Almond butter
Almonds not only provides melatonin to support sleep, but are rich in healthy fats, vitamin E and magnesium. If you’re struggling with sleep, eat plenty of magnesium-rich foods. This mineral not only helps to convert the amino acid tryptophan into the body’s sleep hormone, but also helps it to release GABA – a neurotransmitter that contributes to calming your nervous system.
4. Blueberry & banana smoothie
If you like to workout, then enjoying something protein-rich – like this smoothie – before bed can support muscle recovery and repair. Plus, the tofu and banana provide tryptophan which is required to make both serotonin and melatonin to support a restful sleep.
For more protein-rich snack ideas, check out our recipe collection.
5. Chinese-spiced seed mix
Seeds make a healthy snack at any time of day, but come bedtime, they offer some more advantages. Pumpkin seeds are rich in tryptophan and provide 37 per cent of your recommended daily magnesium allowance in a serving. Sunflower seeds offer calcium which supports sleep hormone production.
Next time you’re craving something moreish and savoury, why not try this seed mix?
6. Edamame & chilli dip with crudités
Edamame beans are a great low-calorie protein source that still provide tryptophan. This edamame & chilli dip with crudités is a fibre-rich snack that will fill you up without leaving you feeling too heavy.
7. Green eggs
Not only are these green eggs super-easy to make, but with 18g of protein per serving, you’re getting a great dose of sleep supportive tryptophan. The hearty spinach side also offers calcium, zinc and fibre. Another light, sleep-supporting option is our eggs & soldiers, which replaces bread with asparagus.
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What is your favourite late night snack? Leave a comment below…
This page was published on 16th July 2020.
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