We all get bedtime cravings but if you’re going to eat in the evening hours, there are foods that are better suited for restful, healthy sleep (and no, a large pepperoni pizza is not one of them).
When preparing a nighttime snack, try avoiding spicy, fatty, or sugary foods. Opt for a light snack that is around 200 calories, that way your body will feel satisfied but not overly stuffed.
Here are ten healthy food items that can help you get a good night’s sleep.
There are so many ways to eat cinnamon. Dust it over baked apples or mix it in with oatmeal to get all its benefits. Cinnamon regulates your blood sugar and helps relieve stress, leading to a calm sleep. Don’t overdo it on cinnamon though. Try to keep it to less than a teaspoon a day since too much can cause dizziness due to low blood sugar and even liver damage.
Relax with a small bowl of oatmeal. Oats help produce melatonin, the “sleep hormone.” They’re also packed with B vitamins and magnesium. Add some warm milk (which contains tryptophan) for an extra soothing treat.
Whether you eat them straight up or prefer almond butter, almonds are an excellent late night (or all day) snack. Almonds contain tryptophan and magnesium, both of which help relax your muscles as you start winding down for the evening. Tryptophan is an amino acid that helps your body create serotonin while magnesium calms down inflammation.
We all know walnuts are a great source of protein, but they can also aid your body in getting some much-needed sleep since they contain tryptophan. Eat them as is or maybe treat yourself to a homemade banana walnut muffin.
Speaking of bananas, this favorite fruit has lots of potassium, vitamin B6, magnesium, and tryptophan. Add some bananas, walnuts, almonds, and cinnamon to your oatmeal and you might just pass out!
Tart cherries are a natural source of melatonin and are easy on your digestive system. Keep in mind that maraschino cherries do not have the same effect.
Did you know that kiwis contain serotonin? Not only can they help you get some zzz’s, but like cherries, they’re easy to digest. Bonus: they’re also packed with Vitamin C.
Yogurt is also a wonderful light snack for bedtime. Tryptophan aids the body in melatonin production and yogurt, in general, is easy on your digestive system (unless of course, you’re lactose intolerant). You may also opt for a non-dairy yogurt if you’d prefer. Don’t forget to add bananas! Always a delicious addition to yogurt.
Okay, this is a bit unexpected but hear us out! Hummus is made from chickpeas and chickpeas are packed with vitamin B-6 and our good friend, tryptophan. While you should avoid the spicy versions of this favorite snack, enjoying some plain hummus and whole wheat crackers is an excellent idea.
10. Herbal Tea
If you’d prefer a warm drink rather than an actual food item, herbal tea is a very popular choice before bed. A cup of calming chamomile or soothing lavender to destress at the end of a long day will help your brain slow down at night. Chamomile specifically contains the antioxidant, apigenin. The result? Blissful sleep.