Do you love to eat a bedtime snack as I do? I’ve noticed that if I go to bed hungry, then I have a challenging time falling and staying asleep. So recently I started a new habit of having healthy bedtime snacks about 30 minutes before bed.
Although you don’t want to eat a huge meal right before bed (that too can negatively impact how well you sleep), it’s ok to have a light snack before bed.
Even better is that certain types of snacks actually help you get the deep restorative sleep that you’re looking for!
If you’re ready to start exploring some healthy bedtime snacks that deliver some serious sleep-boosting benefits, then I’ve got you covered,
Here are seven snacks to incorporate into your bedtime routine that may help you get a better night’s sleep.
7 healthy bedtime snacks to eat
One of my favorite bedtime snacks (and a healthy snack that I eat throughout the day) is almonds.
The benefit of eating almonds before bed is that it actually helps improve your sleep because they contain melatonin, a hormone that helps prepare your body for sleep.
In addition, almonds are a great source of healthy fats, fiber, antioxidants, and protein.
Another perk of eating almonds as a healthy bedtime snack is that they are also an excellent source of magnesium.
Multiple studies have found that sufficient magnesium levels help improve your falling and staying asleep, and your sleep quality.
If you don’t like almonds you can also try walnuts, pistachios, and cashews which also offer the same benefits of having melatonin and magnesium.
I love to eat oatmeal for breakfast since it’s hearty, warm, and sweet. I’ve also found that oats make an excellent bedtime snack because they have melatonin.
Need extra help falling asleep?
Then try cooking your oats in milk, which is rich in calcium—a must if you want to get your best sleep.
Did you know that calcium aids in your brain’s use of tryptophan?
According to the American Sleep Academy, this is essential for the production of the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin and the sleep/wake-regulating chemical serotonin.
Here’s one of my favorite overnight oats recipes you must try!
When you have calcium deficiency, you also suffer from poor or insufficient REM sleep.
If you’re not a big fan of oatmeal, you can also drink a glass of warm milk before bed which has similar benefits.
3. Fatty fish
Perhaps you have some leftover tuna or salmon from your lunch or dinner?
Then eat a few spoonfuls as a healthy bedtime snack to feel satiated.
You already know that eating fish is good for you right?
Even better is that consuming fish is the perfect sleep-boost snack you may be looking for.
The reason why is that fish has several essential mood-boosting nutrients like omega-3s and vitamins B6 and D.
These essential nutrients boost better sleep by helping stimulate the hormone melatonin, a key hormone for promoting sleepiness.
Also, vitamin B6 aids in the production of melatonin and serotonin—both of which help promote more restful sleep (and improve your mood).
Lastly, vitamin D helps support a healthy circadian rhythm. As a result, you feel sleepy at nighttime and alert during the day.
If you don’t like to eat fish, you can still get the benefits of the nutrients from taking a supplement like Nordic Fish oil (the only one I’ve tried that doesn’t have a fishy aftertaste).
Are you looking for a healthy bedtime snack that’s quick and easy?
Try grabbing a banana from your pantry since they are full of potassium and magnesium.
Remember, magnesium plays a critical role in improving your sleep. Potassium alleviates any muscle cramps or tension, therefore, making it easier to relax and fall (and stay) asleep.
You can even try putting some almond butter on the banana which gives you the perks of eating two sleep-boosting treats.
5. Chamomile tea
If you’re like my husband, then you may not actually like to eat right before you to bed.
If you fall under that umbrella, do not worry! You can still get plenty of sleep-supporting benefits with a bedtime cup of chamomile tea.
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I like to drink chamomile tea because it’s known to be soothing and helps lower my anxiety and induce sleep.
Don’t drink it too close to bedtime because then you’ll have to get up to pee often.
Want another easy snack you can grab from the kitchen counter?
Try eating some fruit which has lots of nutrients. Even more, eating certain fruits before bed may also help you sleep better.
One study found that eating pineapple, oranges, and bananas increased melatonin production about two hours later.
Want something a little sour?
Kiwis have also been shown to have some sleep-inducing properties. In one study, participants who ate two kiwis an hour before bed were able to fall asleep faster, sleep for longer, and experience better sleep quality.
If you want to eat something tangy, try tart cherry juice which has been shown to improve sleep quality and reduce symptoms of insomnia.
Yogurt is rich in calcium, and some research suggests that including calcium in your diet can make it easier to fall asleep and lead to more restorative sleep.
Like fish, yogurt contains protein as well as vitamin B6, vitamin B12, and magnesium, which can all contribute to getting restful sleep.
Additionally, yogurt has a key neurotransmitter called GABA that helps calm the body in preparation for sleep.
It’s best to avoid flavored yogurt which has a lot of sugar, so try plain yogurt and add berries or nuts.
Healthy bedtime snacks and tips to support a good night’s sleep
In addition to healthy snacks before bedtime, it’s important to have a solid daily routine to get your best sleep.
If you’re really struggling with racing thoughts, here are 10 ways to put a racing mind to bed and sleep now.
Here are other tips for you to follow:
1. Limit caffeine intake
If you’re like me and love your cup of tea or coffee, then make sure you stop drinking it after 12pm, otherwise, it will be harder for you to fall asleep at night.
2. Avoid alcohol
Alcohol might help you drift off to sleep but it’s also going to leave you tossing and turning all night.
Although alcohol makes you sleep, it actually reduces the quality and quantity of your sleep.
Eager to wake up feeling refreshed and well-rested? Then skip the evening drinks.
Curious to find out more about sleep myths? Here are 5 common sleep myths debunked.
3. Eat a diet rich in nutrients
My motto is that you are what you eat.
Therefore if you fuel your body with a well-balanced and consistent diet rich in fruits and veggies then you will feel better physically and emotionally.
Unfortunately, there isn’t one food that is going to solve your sleeping issues.
Instead, focus on cultivating healthy habits so that you feel well through the day and get a restful night’s sleep.
Although I try to avoid eating late at night and having a snack before bed on a regular basis, I can say that having this variety of snacks has helped me.
I hate tossing and turning in bed or suffering from insomnia, so I’ve made a concerted effort to have a set sleep-wake schedule which has helped me.
Moreover, sustaining an active exercise schedule as well as a relaxing bedtime routine has made falling asleep a lot easier.
What are some of your favorite bedtime snacks? Any snack combinations that you’d recommend? Please share your tips and comments below.
I needed this list. I didn’t realize that almonds had melatonin. Great information – thank you!
Hey Cindy so happy that you found the article and list helpful!
These are nice snacks and I eat some of them as well. Thank you for sharing these suggestions!
You’re welcome Fransic! I’m curious about which snacks are your favorites?
I have always craved a bowl of oatmeal before bed, and wondered why! It makes complete sense now, as I’m sure my body is craving the calcium in the oatmeal as you mentioned. Such a great post with easy options to aid in better sleep. Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts!
Hey Valery I LOVE oatmeal too and prepare overnight oats and snack on them before bed too!!
I love these healthy bedtime snack ideas! Thanks for the great suggestions!
Hey April I’m so happy you like these snack suggestions!
This is such a helpful article! I’m always reaching for a snack before bedtime. It’s not always the healthiest, but sometimes it is a banana or almonds (so I feel better about that!) I’ll keep in mind all of these really great recommendations and become more intentional with the snacks I select before bed.
Hey Olivia so happy to hear that! Bananas with almond butter or peanut butter are one of my favorite daytime or nighttime snacks because it’s so easy to eat!
These are some very healthy snacks. I never thought to associate them as sleeping aids. I am a huge coffee drinker and am working on limiting my coffee intake. Thanks for sharing these awesome snack ideas.
Hey Kevin I hear you about the coffee. It’s a hard habit to break but I’m glad you’re working on it. We are what we eat so I’m glad that you find these snack ideas helpful as natural sleeping aids.
These are all great ideas to help sleep easier and better! For me, a small bowl of warm cereal with milk (like oatmeal!) – and avoiding alcohol – make a definite difference. Thanks for the great tips.
Hi Dana I couldn’t agree more!
Thank you for this informative post. I’ve always worried about the impact having snacks before bed can have on my weight and health. This is very helpful!
Hi Nobubele I hear your concern about eating before bedtime. As long as it’s something light and nutritious it actually helps you sleep which benefits your waist line!
These are fantastic options I try not to eat before bed as it doesn’t help me sleep. Though we often have yoghurt or fruit and I also drink chamomile tea it’s very helpful.
Yes, I love chamomile tea too! Glad you’re taking good care of yourself.
Great healthy options as snacks for the evening. Thank for for sharing. 😊
Pastor Natalie (ExamineThisMoment)
this post was very informative, I struggle at night with sleeping but I find most of the time I snack too late with the wrong foods and this list was very helpful
Hey Tianna I’m sorry that you struggle with sleeping at night. I wrote a whole post on 8 tips to finally say good-bye to your sleep problems which might be worth checking out.