Popcorn, oatmeal, sweet potato, and jasmine rice are great examples of whole grains which help aid in digestion, metabolism, and of course, sleep. Oatmeal is one of the best bedtime snack foods because it includes an abundance of sleep-inducing nutrients such as magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, and calcium.
Best: Half a Turkey Sandwich
And turkey has tryptophan, an amino acid that helps to make you sleepy. If you're not into turkey, try peanut or almond butter on whole wheat toast. Nut butter has healthy fats that raise your levels of serotonin, a feel-good mood chemical that helps you relax.
Eating before bed can cause the body's metabolism to slow. The body slows down its functions at night to prepare for sleep, but consuming foods, especially those high in carbs, can make it harder to digest and result in weight gain.
Almonds and bananas are excellent sources of magnesium. Magnesium is believed to play a role in regulating the timekeeping system of plants, animals, and humans, and it may have benefits for sleep. A serving size of a banana and one ounce of almonds provides just over 100 milligrams of magnesium.
Healthy bedtime snack examples:
Peanut butter and whole grain/high fiber bread. Greek yogurt and berries. Almond butter and fruit. Cheese and fruit.
A bowl of unsweetened cereal (e.g. rice puffs, bran flakes) or muesli high in complex carbs, coupled with milk makes for a yummy bedtime snack. As a bonus, the duo in this combo help your body produce melatonin to lead you into a more restful night.
Experts say that having a late-night meal keeps the body on 'high alert' at a time where it should be winding down, which can have dangerous implications for our health. Researchers have now said that we should never eat within two hours of our bedtime, and ideally, nothing after 7pm.
Studies tend to show that when food is consumed late at night — anywhere from after dinner to outside a person's typical sleep/wake cycle — the body is more likely to store those calories as fat and gain weight rather than burn it as energy, says Kelly Allison of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine's ...
Besides the extra calories, eating too close to bedtime can have other health implications such as digestive issues. When sleeping, our digestion naturally slows down as our metabolism enters a resting state. Lying down in bed immediately after eating can lead to symptoms such as indigestion, acid reflux and heartburn.
Your Slow Metabolism:
When you have a slow metabolism, your body doesn't convert food into energy in sufficient quantities. So most of the food you eat is stored in the form of fats. This is the main reason why some people get fat even though they don't eat much.
So when exactly should you stop eating? Scientists can't agree on a single set time, but the consensus seems to be within three hours before bedtime. So if you go to bed at 11 p.m., don't eat after 8 p.m. Banishing late night snacks after that time could help alleviate the symptoms of acid reflux disease, too.
Experts claim, that restricting your meal intake in the window of 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. can reduce the overall calorie intake drastically. This could be because you are most likely to consume fewer calories as the time you have spent in eating has come down.
“Eat after 8, and you'll gain weight” has a nice ring to it, but it's not true. It is based on the myth that the body cannot properly metabolize food during sleep. However, the body has intricate systems of metabolizing, storing, and using energy from food.
Weetabix is an ideal food from a healthy eating point of view as it is low in fat, high in fibre and low in sugar. It provides an excellent breakfast and an ideal snack any time of the day, including bedtime.
Carbohydrate-rich foods like toast trigger insulin production. This induces sleep by speeding up the release of tryptophan, a chemical that helps to relax the body and send it off to sleep. Like toast, milk releases serotonin, another great body relaxer.
Cereal might be something you'd be more likely to eat in the morning than before bed, but there's nothing wrong with eating cereal at night, provided it fits in with your diet as a whole. The idea that it's bad to eat carb-dense foods -- like cereal -- before bed is false.
Because of its antioxidant, satiating, immune-activating nutrients, porridge is an optimal base for a healthy breakfast or dinner.
Oats. Although this food is often associated with the start of the day, oats can make a great bedtime snack as they're a source of melatonin. Melatonin has been reported to improve sleep efficiency and consuming sources of melatonin-rich foods may help to improve sleep.