The trick behind snacking in general is to make sure you have healthy snacking options available that you enjoy, and just like everything in life – it all boils down to balance. The key behind a midnight snack specifically is differentiating between, stress, boredom and hunger.
If you are truly hungry late at night it's wise to go on the hunt for a healthy snack, something containing sleep-supportive compounds, including tryptophan, serotonin, melatonin, magnesium and calcium. The good news is eating a snack late at night may not be as evil as many think, as long as that snack doesn’t turn into a midnight buffet!
Below we have highlighted some tasty snack options containing everyday ingredients which may even help regulate your internal clock increasing sleep efficiency.
Tamari Or Soy Baked Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkins seeds are rich in magnesium and tryptophana, making them a crunchy surefire way to satisfy a craving and send you to sleep.
line a baking tray with greaseproof paper, cover the pumpkin seeds with 1-2 tsp of tamari (or soy sauce,) and 1-2 tsp rapeseed oil, (you can use an alternative,) bake for 10 minuets on a medium heat. Shake half way through and keep a close eye as they can burn quickly.
Crudités With Guacamole
Good news for the avocado worshiper! If you're craving something crunchy and low-cal, fresh veggies are the answer. Any combination of raw carrots, broccoli, cucumber, celery, courgette/zucchini, peppers, tomatoes etc will do nicely, dipped in homemade guac to help quell the rumbling in your stomach.
Baked Oatmeal And Goji Berry Cookies
Oats are a super way to achieve a healthy dose of z's and suppress your hunger. They increase blood sugar naturally and make you feel sleepy. Goji berries help to reduce levels of depression and anxiety, in turn promoting a healthy nights sleep.
Cereal & Milk
Like oats, a low sugar corn based cereal is just as good at promoting sleep. Even better, a low-fat milk is a great source of calcium, a mineral that's essential is the production of melatonin.
Popcorn is a "pop-ular" snack because you can have a lot of it without breaking the calorie bank. In fact, popcorn has a high source of fibre to satisfy your hunger. Skip the butter to save your waistline and mix it with dried spices instead for an extra punch of flavour that adds nearly zero calories.
Pick a trail mix with nuts, pistachios are particularly good, popcorn and unsweetened dried fruit. The nuts will give you a satisfying crunch packed full of magnesium, without the refined carbs of cookies or crackers, although be sure to have portion control to avoid excess calories.
Low Fat Yoghurt With Berries, Cherries Or Kiwi
When your sweet tooth needs satisfying, you can't beat a bowl of berries, besides being loaded with fibre, which helps fill you up, berries contain magnesium, a mineral that relaxes nerves and muscles to speed slumber.
Tart cherries in particular can be a safe and effective way to treat insomnia and increase the amount of sleep you get each night. This is because they are naturally rich in melatonin. So not only are they a sweet treat, they have a duel purpose.
Kiwis are also a light, satisfying snack rich in vitamin C. They’re also a natural source of serotonin, which promotes relaxation and helps curb appetite. Mixed with yogurt, which is a great source of protein and calcium, you are on to a winning late night snack.
Sweet Potato Toast
Fondly known as a "sleeper's dream", sweet potato boasts sleep-promoting complex carbohydrates that gives your body the steady energy it needs while you snooze.
Hummus & Whole Grain Crackers Or Tortilla
A friendly, simple favourite. Hummus is super easy to whizz up at home with endless flavour varieties. For a simple snack, grab a cracker and dip away, or warm a whole-grain tortilla, top it with hummus, roll it up and enjoy. Alternatively, you can cut the tortilla into pizza slices, brush each side with olive oil, and bake in the oven until crisp.
Why should you just have smoothie fun in the morning? Blitz up a nighttime smoothie using a handful of blueberries, 1 broken square of dark chocolate, 1/2 a banana, 1 cup of oats, a splash of warm water (so it's not super cold to drink,) and coconut milk to preferred consistency, and voilà! You can even add a scoop of any fancy sleep promoting powders you may have in the pantry.
Banana And Nut Butter
Snacking on a banana dipped in almond butter not only enhances the flavour, but it may help increase your body’s melatonin levels to support a good night’s sleep.