Stephan Brown

10 bedtime snacks to help you sleep better

Stephan Brown
10 bedtime snacks to help you sleep better

1. Small Bowl of Rice

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According to a study conducted by PLOS One, a diet that includes rice lowers your risk of poor sleep by up to 46%.  The study also tested bread, which had no effect, and noodles, which made sleep quality worse.

According to researchers, high glycemic index foods (a system that ranks foods on a scale from 1 to 100 based on their effect on blood-sugar levels) such as rice, can improve tryptophan (an amino acid that is a constituent of most proteins) and melatonin production.  

So, grab that left-over rice in the fridge and munch away your late-night hunger.

2. Ham and Cheese Roll Up

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Tryptophan-packed ham and cheese only contains about 100 calories. This makes this late-night snack easy on the stomach and satisfying enough to stop those late-night cravings. Ham and cheese rolls may also benefit your waistline later, too. Cheese contains casein proteins, which, if eaten 30 minutes before bed, have been found to increase your metabolism the next day.

3. Tart Cherry Juice

Have you ever suffered from restless nights that turned into mornings? Well it was discovered that adults (specifically older adults) who drank 8 ounces of tart cherry juice, twice daily, slept 85 minutes longer compared to a placebo.

Researchers at Louisiana State University found that the fruit has a rich source of melatonin, and antioxidants, that control sleep. The combination of melatonin and antioxidants gets rid of inflammation in your body. If your drink is too “tarty”, just mix it with sparkling water for a less intense taste.

4. Handful of Walnuts

According to a study in “Nutrition”, eating a handful of walnuts has been proven to increase melatonin levels in your blood.  This process also improves your sleep-wake cycle, so you can fall right asleep without the help of any sleep aids. It is recommended that you stick to a one-ounce serving (14 walnut halves because they are high in calories.  In total, a one-ounce serving contains 185 calories.      

5. Whole Grain Toast with Almond Butter

Did you know that magnesium deficiency has been linked to insomnia and muscle cramps? With one tablespoon of almond butter, you’ll have enough magnesium in your body to avoid that and get a good night’s rest. Over 70% of adults don’t consume enough magnesium and this decreases sleep. Other alternatives to getting enough magnesium are whole grains,  

6. Ginger Tea With Dried Dates

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Sleep experts always recommend the idea of drinking nighttime tea, because it lets the body and brain know that it’s time to turn off. When you buy tea, make sure you get the caffeine free herbal varieties that will keep you asleep. Ginger is highly recommended because it aids in digestion and relaxes you quickly. Along with your ginger tea, snack on dried fruit, like dates, which has digestion – promoting fiber.

7. A Cup of Soup

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 Easy on your digestive system, warm liquids are inherently calming. Go for ones that are easy to digest; smooth soups like butternut squash or broth-based ones like chicken noodle are good bets (but avoid tough-to-digest versions like lentil or bean). Look for single-serve heat-and-eat containers for the fastest bedtime fix.

 8. Banana Smoothie

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Blending bananas and low-fat milk supplies you with vitamin D and calcium. According to a study in the Journal of Sleep Research, both nutrients have been linked with lowering the odds of having problems falling asleep by 17% and staying asleep by 16%. By adding bananas, you’ll get that sweet flavor without having to add sugar and it’s a great source of magnesium and B6 (vitamin that aids in making serotonin). 

9. Spiced Popcorn

There are so many reasons why air-popped popcorn is the best late-night Netflix binge-watching snack. For starters, popcorn only contains 30 calories a cup, so you can eat multiple servings.

According to a study published in the Organic Consumers Association, popcorn also contains carbs that stimulate the release of insulin, which has been proven to control your circadian clock (a cycle that tells our bodies when to sleep, rise, eat—regulating many physiological processes).  Also, If you add cinnamon or paprika spices, you can boost your metabolism before bed.

10. Whole Grain Graham Cracker Topped with Cottage Cheese and Sliced Kiwi

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This carb and protein duo lulls you to sleep. Cottage cheese is a surprisingly good source of protein, which helps create the sleep-promoting amino acid tryptophan. Crackers have carbohydrates that boost tryptophan's availability to the brain. Then top it with kiwi, which a 2011 study linked with longer snooze time in problem sleepers, possibly because its antioxidants may regulate neurotransmitters that control slumber.