Bedtime Snack?

Beth Irvine Health Guide
  • It’s been a few hours since you ate your dinner. Perhaps, as your evening comes to an end, your thoughts turn to a little snack before bedtime? Don’t feel guilty, go ahead and have one.

    Foods that can aid your sleep
    A small appropriate snack may be the extra boost your body needs to send you off into a restful calm. Our bodies release sleep-inducing hormones before we sleep. Foods rich in tryptophan (especially when combined with a carbohydrate) can help your body release sleep-inducing hormones, which can bring a feeling of tiredness and lead to a restful sleep.

    Moderation and timing are important

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    Below are some suggestions for healthy bedtime snacks that pack a powerful punch in sending you off to a good night’s rest. These ideas combine tryptophan-rich foods with carbohydrate-rich foods, as well as including calcium and magnesium.  However, be mindful that over-indulging in food (even food with tryptophan) can backfire. Too much food puts your digestive system into working over-time, and this can not only contribute to indigestion; it can keep you awake.

    Palm of your hand

    Moderation is key. Think of your snack fitting into the palm of your hand. That is how much your stomach can handle. The timing of when you eat your snack is also important. The effects of tryptophan-laden foods won’t be immediate; it can take up to 45 minutes to an hour for the drowsy feeling to take hold of you, so plan accordingly.

    Bedtime Snacks

    • Banana with small glass of milk
    • Small bowl of oatmeal or cereal with milk
    • Small yogurt with granola sprinkled on top
    • Half bagel or a few crackers with peanut butter, an ounce of cheese or a slice of turkey on top
    • Sliced apple with 1 ounce of cheese
    • One scrambled egg with toast
    • Chamomile tea (a bedtime favorite for its mild sedating effect)

    See related article
    Foods to Help You Sleep Better AND Lose Weight

Published On: November 09, 2008