Sometimes those nighttime hunger pangs are too strong to ignore, and you’ll have to have a snack before powering down and getting ready for bed. It’s not wise to go to bed hungry—for one, an angry, growling stomach doesn’t induce drowsiness very well, and secondly, you might also hinder adequate muscle repair and growth, as most of your “muscle recovery” happens while you sleep.
So, those precious hours matter—a lot. And if you can’t fall asleep without satisfying your appetite first, don’t resist the urge to nibble. However, there are some foods that are better options than others, meaning there’s more nutritional value, there’s a relatively abundant supply of sleep-promoting nutrients, and there’s also no caffeine content, which might over-stimulate you and delay the time it takes for you to drift off to slumber.
You also want to avoid highly acidic foods, where they have higher acidity levels by nature. Acidic foods will turn your body towards a more acidic pH level, but unfortunately the body thrives best when alkaline. The biggest diet offenders here match those most commonly associated with triggering acid reflux and GERD symptoms, such as tomatoes or coffee, for example.
You’re better off focusing on enjoying more alkaline foods and staying hydrated with lots of water intake—together, they’ll promote a healthy, balanced body state that’s well—hydrated and less stressed overall. So, keep these tips in mind when reaching for a nighttime snack before getting under the covers. These are the top foods to eat if you’re hungry late at night, for both optimal sleep and appetite suppression.
A Protein Bar With GI-Friendly Sweetener
Some protein bars can wreak havoc on your gut, especially in those who suffer from GI conditions like IBS or Crohn’s disease or who can’t tolerate specific sweeteners well.
Sugar alcohols tend to get a bad rap, as some sweeteners recognized for their blood sugar, weight loss and diabetes management benefits, can also cause GI pain, if you tend to have a sensitive stomach and lack the tolerance to digest them with ease. While they are great for lowering sugar and carbs and preventing blood sugar spikes, they can be hard to digest. BHU’s keto protein bars don’t have any sugar alcohols or cane sugar, and the rich protein will keep your hunger away until morning.
A Handful of Nuts or Seeds
Nuts and seeds not only have protein, healthy fats and fiber, but also they have tryptophan, which increases drowsiness. A handful of sunflower seeds, almonds, pistachios or pumpkin seeds will settle hunger and make you sleepy. You can also choose a nut or seed butter instead. Snack on a serving of peanut or almond butter, spread on whole grain or low-carb toast, or go with something sweet that feels more like dessert, and use a keto chocolate hazelnut butter instead.
It’s common to crave a salty, crunchy snack at night anyway, so ditch the potato chips and choose kale chips instead, which have tryptophan and magnesium to induce fatigue. If you’re not making your own batch at home, check labels on store-bought varieties to make sure sodium isn’t too high, as you don’t want to wake up puffy and dehydrated. And avoid any spicy kale chip flavors if you’re worried that the heat might bother your stomach.
Glass of Soymilk or a Serving of Edamame
Protein is best for a nighttime snack to keep you satisfied and to promote muscle growth and repair as you sleep. Soy has a good amount of plant protein and also contains tryptophan as well, so keep it around in foods and beverages for easy access when those late-night munchies hit. Drink a large glass of soymilk or snack on edamame to get your fill.