21 Best Foods To Eat Before Bed
Nighttime is a great time to catch up on sleep, but for those who have trouble sleeping or trying not to gain weight, it can present us with some challenges. The ideal foods take into consideration the time of day at which they are eaten, your activity level, and your cravings.
Let’s start off with what you shouldn’t eat before bed…
Don’t Eat Sugar Before Bed!
You should avoid eating sugar about 3-4 hours before going to bed as the sugars will cause an energy spike that will keep you awake. Also, it’s harder to burn off these sugars once you’re asleep so this means more fat storage in the body. If sugar is something you crave don’t completely cut it out of your diet; however, make sure to use it in moderation.
Now that we’ve gotten the bad stuff out of the way, let’s start with the good stuff! Things you should eat before bed:
Chicken and Vegetables
Chicken and vegetables are okay to eat before bed. This is because chicken provides lean protein (protein without fat) which helps increase muscle mass when paired up with strength training.
Although keeping your muscles healthy is very important, when you’re trying to burn fat they become your worst enemy as muscle burns calories – so maintaining muscle through strength training becomes crucial. Because veggies such as green beans and brussel sprouts are low-calorie foods it’s always a good idea to consume them just before going to sleep since these foods will not cause an increase in calorie level further promoting weight loss.
Red Meat and Nuts
Red meat such as beef is not only a good source of protein but it’s also very high in zinc which helps with sleeping better, according to the Mayo Clinic. Zinc is also known to improve testosterone levels. Combine that with nuts such as peanuts and cashews for an added dose of healthy fats and you’re set for a night of sleep induced by delicious food.
However, it’s important to keep your intake of these foods to a minimum. Meats and nuts should be used sparingly since they contain high levels of saturated fat which can contribute to heart disease if consumed too much. The same applies to fatty fish like salmon and tuna – although rich in omega -3 acids, they may contain high levels of mercury.
Nutritional needs do tend to change over time, especially after age 40 when metabolism tends to slow down. So make sure you consult with your doctor before making specific dietary changes.
Eating turkey before bed is a solid option because it contains a rich supply of protein and amino acids. These acids aid in the detoxification process and help to clear out harmful toxins that build up during the day. It is a known fact that these toxins can impede the body’s natural restorative functions, which leads to a less refreshing sleep.
The best way to cook turkey for nighttime snacking is simply roasting it whole in the oven and then slicing it up. White meat tends to be lower in fat than dark meat, so it is important not to overindulge in the latter.
Eating bananas before bedtime has long been touted as beneficial because they contain high levels of magnesium and potassium. These minerals are useful for promoting muscle relaxation and easing tension in both muscles and joints. Plus, if you’re suffering from bouts of insomnia, having a banana will help provide relief due to its sedative- effects on the body. Bananas also contain serotonin, a chemical that makes you feel good and may promote restful sleep.
This healthy snack is chock full of protein and fiber, which serves as fuel for your body to help stay active during the day and exercise well into the night. What makes hummus a great food to eat at night is the fact that it may help promote better sleep due to its melatonin content. In addition, melatonin is a hormone produced by the body’s pineal gland, which regulates the body’s sleeping/waking cycle.
This sweet treat contains magnesium and serotonin, which are both helpful in promoting relaxation and restful sleep. Dark chocolate also contains caffeine, so enjoy with caution or you might wake up feeling energized instead of relaxed! Many people have stated that dark chocolate (specifically 70% and higher cocoa content) is a powerful sleep aid.
Did you know that oatmeal is one of the most popular nighttime snacks in America? This healthy choice definitely deserves to be recognized as such. Oatmeal contains valerian root, which has been shown (in clinical studies) to help promote relaxation and restful sleep. It also contains serotonin and melatonin! These ingredients work together to ensure that your body gets the food it needs for a good night’s rest.
Spinach may not seem like an appealing or appetizing dish at first glance, but this green leafy vegetable provides natural magnesium, which is responsible for helping the muscles relax so the body can fall asleep. In addition, vitamin B6 found in spinach also assists in producing serotonin and melatonin, which help regulate sleep.
Eating sweet potatoes can be a great way to boost energy levels without having them spike up too high or crash down quickly. The carbohydrates present in sweet potatoes provide sustained energy that lasts throughout the day without making you drowsy, so eating them at night can help you feel energized throughout the entire evening.
Parmesan cheese is extremely flavorful because it’s aged for about 18 months to two years, so a little goes a long way. However, this also means that eating too much of it at once will not be as appetizing and may increase your chances of indigestion or bloating. So when you do eat parmesan, try to limit yourself to about one-fourth cup per serving and avoid pairing with foods rich in starches and sugars.
Serving up some scrambled eggs every night can provide you with high-quality protein that will keep you feeling full until morning time without causing sugar cravings later on. Try adding some spinach and tomatoes to your eggs for a nice kick of flavor and micronutrients.
Eating white rice before bedtime is a great idea because it’s high in magnesium and manganese, which are two minerals that help relax muscles and can improve sleep quality. Just be sure to stick with basmati rice, as brown rice tends to be higher on the glycemic index and can cause blood sugar spikes throughout the day.
It doesn’t matter if you prefer seasoned or grilled – salmon will always be a good choice for your last meal of the day. Since cold-water fish such as salmon contain more omega-3 fatty acids than others, eating it before bedtime may lead to heart health benefits such as reducing inflammation and stress levels during sleep. Speaking of cold-water fish, if you’re concerned about mercury ingestion from eating too much
This extremely healthy fish offers many benefits for your overall health as well as your diet, but one particular benefit is its ability to aid in achieving restful sleep at night.
Yogurt is an excellent option and is healthy food for your body and can aid in achieving healthier, more restful sleep. The protein found in yogurt requires much time to digest, allowing you to stay asleep longer. So the next time you’re craving a midnight snack, try eating some yogurt! Other nutritional benefits of yogurt include increased levels of the mood-boosting chemical serotonin. People with low levels of serotonin have trouble sleeping, while those with high levels often feel very relaxed and sleepy.
Not only will flaxseed help you fall asleep faster, but it can also give your skin a beautiful glow! Flaxseeds are full of omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and Vitamin C. They soothe dry eyes by lubricating them from within because they contain more than 30% water to keep your eyes well moisturized. In addition, flaxseed soothes dry throats by lubricating them from within because they contain more than 30% water to keep your throat well moisturized.
Another great sleep supplement is chamomile tea which has been shown to soothe nerves and reduce stress. The odor of chamomile is also soothing and reduces tension, while the warm sensation created when drinking it relaxes the muscles in your back and neck.
Chamomile tea has many nutritional benefits such as reducing muscle spasms, increasing urine production, and eliminating gas. It also helps with the digestive process by removing excess acid in your stomach that can cause indigestion and heartburn.
One tablespoon of honey before bed will release tryptophan into your system that helps send signals to your brain that it’s time for sleep. Besides helping you fall asleep faster, honey also contains a compound called Naltrexone which can help regulate your body’s production of melatonin.
In addition, raw honey has been shown to offer significant antibacterial benefits making it a great natural supplement to support immune function after a long day or week.
Whey Protein Powder
One study found that men who consumed whey protein before bed increased the amount of time they slept and had a deeper sleep than those who didn’t. Furthermore, men with early morning training sessions benefited immensely from getting their daily dose of protein at night before going to bed as opposed to in the morning.
Protein helps your body build and repair tissues and can enhance muscle recovery after exercise. Casein, one type of protein found in dairy products such as cottage cheese, also has some benefits when taken just 30 minutes before bedtime. It has been shown to support healthy levels of Growth Hormone during rest for more efficient fat burning and muscle gain/maintenance while you sleep.
This fruit is rich in potassium, magnesium, and vitamin C – all 3 powerful minerals that work together to regulate your body’s metabolism for a healthy weight. Slice one in half, add a dash of salt and eat with a spoon. Your taste buds will reward you with flavors that are hard to beat while your waistline benefits from healthy fats that can ward off cravings throughout the day.
Do not be misled into thinking that this food is just a garnish or side dish! Grilled asparagus possesses very unique diuretic properties which make it an excellent companion for any meal. With its strong flavor profile and satisfying crunch, grilled asparagus can make any meal feel complete without guilt about overeating or eating unhealthy foods. In fact, because of its high water content and fiber content, it can help you feel full without adding too many calories to your meal.
Asparagus is a great option to eat before bedtime. It may not be the most popular nighttime food, but it can help you sleep better and wake up feeling more refreshed for your morning activities.
You probably didn’t realize that popcorn is an excellent option to eat before bed. But, because of its high-fiber and low-calorie content, it makes a great bedtime snack.
For instance, a 1 cup serving of air-popped popcorn has just 31 calories and is full of fiber. This combination can help you feel full longer so that you have more energy through the night without experiencing the dreaded 3 a.m. hunger pains.
In addition, researchers believe that munching on popcorn before bed may even increase your chances of having intimacy as it also contains vitamin B6 which can contribute to better blood flow for those who want to find their happy place faster.
All of the foods listed here are great options for eating at night. You can find a variety of delicious snacks at your local grocery store that will help you stay full throughout the night. However, it’s always important to remember to eat in moderation and to avoid overeating as this can cause weight gain and other issues.
Whether you choose 1 or more of them – they should all be able to keep you feeling fuller longer, so there’s no need for those midnight runs to the fridge, you’ll be feeling full, satisfied and you’ll also have a great night’s rest!
Good luck and enjoy!