For some reason, I late-night snack the most during the winter months. I don’t know if it’s because there are so many sweets in the house, because it’s comforting, or what. What I do know, is the snacks I choose have a huge impact on my sleep and energy levels the next day. After doing some research, there are foods (even some healthy food!) that should be avoided close to bedtime, and can have a negative effect on your mood, ability to focus, and more.
To help you avoid the same midnight snacking mistakes I’ve made, today I’m sharing the best way to enjoy some nibbles before bed without disrupting your sleep.
Is Eating Before Bed Actually Bad For Your Health?
In a nutshell, eating right before bed isn’t the best idea if you’re trying to lose weight fast. This is because when our body is resting it goes into recovery mode. If we eat right before bed, our body has to focus on digesting instead of regenerating cells, lowering cortisol, and improving our immune system – all of which contribute to a healthy metabolism. 
Additionally, eating before bed disrupts our circadian rhythm. This is our natural sleep-wake cycle. As we wind down for bed, our body wants to chill out thanks to our parasympathetic nervous system. If we add more energy (food) into our body when we’re trying to slow down, our body won’t think it’s time for bed.
Another reason to avoid food, even healthy food, right before bed is that we won’t burn it off the same way we would during the day. If you’re trying to lose weight fast, late night snacking is not the way to go. Eating before bed increases the probability that our food gets stored as fat. When we eat during the day, we have opportunities to burn it off while walking, exercising, and through everyday motions.
The Late Night Cravings Hit. What Next?
When you do feel tempted to snack before bed, there are a few guidelines I like to follow. The first is to make it exactly what we’re calling it – a snack. Not a full meal or a big dessert, just a few bites of something. Next, I will try to wait a minimum of 45 minutes before getting into bed. Three hours is ideal, but if it really is bed time, close to an hour will have to do. Lastly, I try to choose healthy food snacks. Instead of a Snickers bar, I’ll opt for a peanut butter smeared banana. All of these are meant to be helpful if you feel the urge to snack, but it’s not a great idea to make late night bites a regular routine – even with these hacks.
Enjoy These 5 Foods Before Bed And Their Benefits
So you’re ready for a snack and you want it to be a good one, what are you reaching for? Well, they may not be first on your munchies list, but these five foods are going to be much better for you in terms of your sleep, mood, and energy quality the next day.
A handful of these healthy fat-filled nuts will help you feel full, and satisfy your crunch cravings. It’s also said that cashews may help with the production of melatonin, meaning you may fall asleep faster, sleep deeper, and wake up feeling refreshed.
2. Greek Yogurt
If you’re craving something like ice cream, opt for some Greek yogurt topped with sea salt and cinnamon. The protein will keep your blood sugar stabilized, while the natural fats will help curb your sweet tooth.
4. Cheese & Turkey
If you’re craving something hearty, sliced deli turkey and cheese will help you feel satisfied without going overboard before bed. Grab a few slices of meat, roll them up with cheese, and enjoy.
5. Almond Butter
Looking for just a bite of something? A big spoonful of almond butter is a great snack choice before snoozing. It’s sweet and satisfying, and like cashews and cherries, is known to contain melatonin.