Late night snacks are healthy if you choose treats that will not interfere with sleeping. There are several tricks to avoiding insomnia such as not drinking tea, coffee, or soda because these contain caffeine that can keep you awake. However, there are many foods such as proteins, fruits, and grains that contain chemicals and carbohydrates that will help you sleep.
Proteins such as eggs help keep your stomach full during the night so you don’t wake with food cravings. Whipping up scrambled eggs with toast is a quick late-night snack that pairs protein with carbohydrates and helps release the sleep chemicals of serotonin and tryptophan to your brain. Sprinkling cheese into your scrambled eggs provides a calcium boost for more sleepiness.
A handful of almonds before bed are a rich source of protein and the sleep-supporting amino acid tryptophan. Almonds are also a good source of the nutrient magnesium, a natural muscle relaxer. The protein in almonds will keep you full all night so you are not waking with a grumbling hungry stomach. A simple trail mix recipe of almonds, dried Montmorency tart cherries, and the filling protein of sunflower seeds can help keep your stomach satisfied and let you sleep.
Cottage cheese works both as a calcium and protein food to ease you to sleep. A small bowl of cottage cheese topped with fresh berries, chopped nuts, and cinnamon will give you a slow-digesting protein with calcium that controls acid reflux for those who have heartburn at night. Yogurt is also a quick dairy snack that has the same protein and calcium combination to lull you to sleep. Sprinkle chopped almonds, berries, or add bananas for a snack that is helpful to sleep.
Montmorency tart cherries are fruits that contain the chemicals melatonin and tryptophan. These are sleep-producing chemicals that lower your body temperature, relax your muscles, and help make you drowsy. Eat a small bowl of cherries or drink cherry juice in the morning and at night to get the right balance of the chemicals so you can sleep at night.
Bananas are another sleep-friendly fruit. Bananas contain the natural muscle-relaxants magnesium and potassium and has carbohydrates that will help you sleep. The potassium in bananas is also good for heart health.
Oats are a natural source of melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleeping and waking cycles. Oats are also complex carbohydrates that help tryptophan reach the brain. A bowl of oatmeal with milk, toasted almonds, and dried cherries gives you a delicious boost of sleep-aiding foods.