People are often in the habit of having their evening meals very early, long before going to bed. However, it leaves them hungry later on before going to sleep. Insomnia is annoying, and recent research shows that sleep is essential for good mental as well as the overall health. Having an evening meal early leads to feeling like you want a snack to keep you from waking up and see you through the night. It is essential to ease night time hunger and irregular sleep patterns, but with healthy bedtime snacks and some snacks might lead to unwanted weight gain, while others disrupt sleep. It is, therefore, important to choose the right type of food to consume before going to bed to ease night time hunger.
Individual bedtime snacks consumed right before sleeping are likely to promote or even steal sleep. There are a wide range of reasons that would determine what kind of food to take before going to sleep. Whether you want to gain body mass, shed some unwanted weight or promote sleep, there is always the right food for you. The main thing that you must know is that you should ensure that you get a night of good sleep. So, here is a list of nutritious and healthy snacks that are worth considering if practicing healthy eating of bedtime snacks.
Top 10 Healthy Bedtime Snacks:
Bananas form one of the core parts of healthy snacks before bedtime. They help promote sleep because they contain magnesium and potassium. These two are considered to be natural muscle relaxants. Potassium promotes better cardiovascular health as well as cognitive functioning. Having a banana based snack before going to sleep is often associated with decreased probability of having problems falling asleep and even staying asleep. There are various ways to have your banana before going to sleep. The most common part of eating it being having a banana smoothie with milk. Eating your banana also saves time if the kitchen is already cleaned up and there are no dirty dishes to wash in the morning.
We often have fond memories of having a glass of warm milk to help us fall asleep when we were young. Some people believe it brings soothing childhood memories which help you to drift off but milk indeed does contain tryptophan which is an amino acid that acts as a precursor to the brain chemical serotonin. Serotonin is a hormone that induces a good mood. Milk further contains melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleeping and waking pattern. A glass of low-fat or non-fat milk will help you lose weight since milk is a whole meal and you will have no hunger pains while sleeping. Having more than one glass of milk could have adverse effects on your weight and eventually sleep as you might want to pass water several times at night.
Eating a small serving of rice before sleeping cuts the amount of time a person takes to fall asleep. A meal of starchy rice goes a long way in fixing your insomnia problems.It takes a long time to digest and gradually releases glucose into the bloodstream. If possible, you can have a serving of jasmine rice which has a high glycemic index rather than long-grain rice which has a lower glycemic index. Jasmine rice boosts production of tryptophan and serotonin in the blood thus promoting sleep.
Almonds contain a lot of magnesium for your body which promotes sleep and muscle relaxation. When magnesium levels in the body are too low, it is harder to fall and stay asleep. Almonds also stabilize your blood sugar levels while sleeping due to the amount of proteins they contain. It helps the body switch to a rest-and-digest cycle as opposed to the usual alert adrenaline cycle. Almonds add up to healthy food types because they are good for the heart.
What Cherries are known for as healthy foods is that they are a good source of antioxidants, however, these delicious fruits contain high amounts of melatonin. A glass of juice naturally boosts melatonin levels and induce sleep. Tart cherries in particular increase sleep time and improve duration and quality of sleep.
Hard Boiled Eggs
Hard boiled eggs stabilize blood sugar levels ensuring a full night sleep without interruption. Eggs are a good source of tryptophan the feel-good hormone. Eggs are full of proteins which fill you up and help you to stay asleep longer. However, you should not overeat eggs at night if you are on a weight loss campaign.
Oatmeal is nourishing and makes you filled up which means you will not wake up in the middle of the night with hunger pangs. Complex carbohydrates in the oatmeal trigger production of serotonin in the body. Oatmeal supplies the body with sleep promoters such as calcium, phosphorus, and potassium. Instant oatmeal does not help with weight loss since they are packed with sugar. Instead, opt for plain oatmeal which is better for your heath.
Fortified cereals are a great source of vitamin B6 which is essential in producing melatonin. These combine proteins and carbohydrates whose importance have already been mentioned above. There are no hunger pains, and with the excellent balance of protein and carbs, fortified cereals are a healthy bedtime snack.
Avocados are rich in mono-saturated fats that are easily converted to energy in the body. Taking an avocado before bedtime increases your healthy fat and calorie intake without seriously increasing protein and carbohydrate intake. Avocados are an excellent source of potassium and help balance the body’s potassium to sodium ratio.
Popcorn contains carbohydrates which help bring the amino acid tryptophan into your brain. This induces the aforementioned sleep-promoting neurotransmitter called serotonin. Always go for low calorie and non-fat popcorn. The meal is light and easy to digest, so it has no problems if you are looking for a healthy bedtime snack with minimal impact on your weight.
Bedtime snacks are important because of various reasons. However, Health is of greater importance so always check on the amounts of snacks eaten before bed. With the above list, one can mix and alternate the healthy snacks.
Let us know what your favorite bedtime snack is in the comment section below. Check out all our posts here to stay healthy and fit.