Searching for a shortlist of foods to eat in the evening? You’ve reached the right place. Here we go again. It’s 10 pm, and you’re hungry. Maybe it’s because you skipped lunch today. Maybe it’s because that cheeseburger you had for dinner didn’t sit right with you. Whatever the reason, the problem is still the same. You’re hungry, and it’s keeping you from falling asleep.
There’s no way to get around it. You’re going to need a snack if you want to settle down and get those eight hours of quality sleep that you need to function during a busy day. But before you reach for that ice cream, consider these smarter options for nighttime eating.
#1: Turkey Sandwich
You know that great feeling you have after Thanksgiving Dinner? You’re full, you’re relaxed, and you could fall asleep any minute. Why wait for November when you can make yourself a turkey sandwich any time?
Turkey contains tryptophan, which is something of a miracle when it comes to mood relaxation. Tryptophan converts to the hormones serotonin and melatonin. Serotonin stabilizes our mood and makes us feel happy. Melatonin works with our body’s natural rhythm to help us sleep.
You might crave greasy foods in the middle of the night, but fight that urge and reach for something that will lower your bad cholesterol. Oatmeal is an easy, healthy way to satisfy a late-night craving. It contains natural melatonin and is loaded with vitamins and minerals for a balanced diet.
Everyone knows that bananas have lots of potassium in them. But did you know that they also contain our newest ally, tryptophan? It’s true. In case you’ve forgotten, tryptophan is an amino acid that helps us sleep. It’s completely natural, and you can only get it through food. Bananas also have plenty of fiber.
Yogurt is a great source of calcium. Not only does it make your bones strong and healthy, but calcium is also necessary to aid in the conversion from tryptophan to melatonin, the natural sleep hormone.
Reach for a sugar-free yogurt to avoid packing on any extra pounds. Sugar-free yogurt doesn’t add the unnecessary calories you’re trying to avoid with your midnight snacking session.
Need a quick and easy pick-me-up that doesn’t require preparation or silverware? Try a handful or two of unsalted, unflavored nuts. They lower your cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease. Loaded with protein and other nutrients, nuts have the vitamins and minerals your body needs to metabolize your diet efficiently.
Eggs had a bad reputation in the past, but the truth is that their effect on LDL or “bad” cholesterol is negligible. Full of vitamins and protein, eggs also feature the star of our show, tryptophan. They’re truly a nutritional powerhouse.
Late-night snacking doesn’t have to be bad for your health. With sharp planning and foresight, it’s easy to include healthy foods that will promote sleep and relaxation in your evening routine. Be smart and indulge thoughtfully.
Want to read more of our latest posts? Check out our review of this Burmese Cuisine restaurant in NJ.
Jennifer Bell is a freelance writer, blogger, dog-enthusiast, and avid beachgoer operating out of Southern New Jersey.