Dr. Kathleen Jones
Bedtime Snacks for Restful Sleep
Hungry at night? Going to bed with a full stomach can negatively affect your sleep, but going to bed hungry and counting the hours until breakfast is hardly ideal. If you’re craving something delicious before bed, these snack recommendations will satisfy your hunger without sabotaging your sleep.
Tart cherries or cherry juice
Tart cherries are rich in melatonin and full of flavor. You can eat them whole or toss them in a juicer - research has found that drinking a cup of tart cherry juice before bed is just as helpful for sleeping as taking a melatonin or valerian supplement.
Avocado and rice cake
If you tend to wake up hungry halfway through the night, try eating sliced avocado on top of a rice cake. Sleep specialists often recommend crafting a bedtime snack that is 70% complex carbs and 30% healthy fat or protein - the carbs encourage your body to produce melatonin, and the healthy fat or protein keeps you satisfied longer.
Dark chocolate tends to have less sugar than milk chocolate (especially the high-percentage cacao varieties), so it won’t disrupt your sleep the way other sugary snacks can. Dark chocolate also contains anti-inflammatory nutrients known as flavonoids.
Roasted chickpeas are another perfect bedtime snack. Think of chickpeas as the plant-based version of Thanksgiving turkey: they are full of tryptophan. They also contain magnesium, which is important for deep sleep. To prepare the chickpeas, toss them in olive oil, season with garlic, cumin, or cayenne pepper, and roast in the oven until they are crispy.
Omelet with broccoli or asparagus
Who doesn’t like breakfast for dinner? Besides being full of protein, eggs are rich in melatonin and the sleep-improving amino acid L-ornithine. Asparagus and broccoli are also full of melatonin, so add those to your omelet for an extra boost.
Peanut, cashew, or almond butter
Nut butters are great sources of protein, healthy fat, and magnesium. You can enjoy nut butter with apple slices, whole wheat toast, or frozen with a few chocolate chips for sweetness.
Many of the patients I see at Elements of Health experience sleep issues. I often recommend patients take Cortisol Manager for stress-related sleep issues, Formula 303 for general sleep issues, and calcium or magnesium supplements if they are not getting enough of these nutrients from their diet.
All of our supplements are readily available on our online store at https://www.eohinfo.com/store. Feel free to reach out to us anytime at (614) 985-1435 for questions or more information.
Schneider, Jamie. 2021. 4 Easy Bedtime Snacks That Can Actually Help You Sleep Better, Expert-Approved. Mind Body Green.
Taylor, Anna. 2020. 4 Late-Night Snacks That Are Actually Good For You. Cleveland Clinic.