“Before bedtime snacks can be healthy and help you sleep better,” says Tony Castillo, a registered nutritionist and performance dietitian with Nutrition for Performance. He says that people who exercise regularly, and especially those who are active, can benefit from this as they can add nutrients that can help repair and recover muscles while they sleep.
However, there are some foods that you may not want to eat before bed as they can interfere with your sleep. You should avoid junk food that is high in sugar and processed carbohydrates, as these can interfere with a good night’s sleep. “The fast-digesting carbohydrates could give you an energy boost,” says Castillo.
Anything else you want to avoid before bed? Spicy foods as these can cause acid reflux and no one wants to wake up with digestive problems all night. Another common heartburn trigger is chocolate because it is high in fat and contains other ingredients that can affect digestion at night.
Read below for more nutrition tips and healthy pre-bedtime snack ideas that can help you sleep better tonight.
Eat healthy foods at night
In addition to balancing your diet with quality foods (like the following) each night, you should also consider planning your snacks so that sleep is not affected. This can vary from person to person. As a rule, however, you should avoid eating just before going to sleep.
“There are some people who can eat right before bed and have no problems. Others may need a two-hour shutdown [before bed] because eating the food can cause acid reflux, “says Castillo. It may take some trial and error, but giving yourself some digestive space before bed can prevent problems.
Focus on high fiber carbohydrates and proteins
“I recommend slow-digesting protein and high-fiber carbohydrates,” says Castillo. “You want the slowly digesting protein to keep muscle building on while you sleep. You want a high-fiber carbohydrate because a fast-digesting carbohydrate can cause blood sugar spikes and keep you awake.”
Slowly digested and high fiber carbohydrates are usually easier for youThis will help avoid spikes or subsequent crashes. Examples of slow-digesting carbohydrates are whole grains, oats, brown rice, fruits, and vegetables. Slow-digesting proteins include casein, which is found in dairy products like yogurt and cheese and is available as a protein powder. Peanut butter is also useful to eat before bed because it contains tryptophan, which helps your brain and muscles relax.
Examples of healthy snacks before bed:
- Protein shake
- Peanut butter and whole wheat bread
- Greek yogurt and berries
- Almond butter and fruit
- Cheese and fruit
Specific foods that can help you sleep
Certain foods can promote better sleep for different reasons than when you feel full. Certain foods naturally contain nutrients that promote sleep, the hormone that makes you feel sleepy.
Foods That Can Help You Sleep:
The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a doctor or other qualified health care provider with any questions about an illness or health goals.