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Imagine tossing and turning in your bed well past midnight. Your stomach is burning out of hunger. You rush to the refrigerator and start munching on the leftover slice of pizza or some fried snacks. Sounds unhealthy, right?
Don’t worry. We have got you covered. This blog will list 30 best healthy late-night snack ideas to satisfy your midnight cravings and help you sleep. Also, guess what? You will not have to worry about gaining those extra pounds.
Forget those unhealthy snacks and grab one of these good snacks to satisfy your midnight hunger pangs.
Oatmeal might remind you of breakfast. But it’s a healthy late-night snack too. It contains complex carbohydrates that will break down slowly, preventing a sudden increase in your blood sugar levels.
A 2016 study suggests that these complex carbohydrates signal your brain to release the neurotransmitter serotonin, which tranquilizes your body. Thus, you can get better and undisturbed sleep.
Pistachios can be delightful to munch on late at night. They are rich in protein and will keep you full. Moreover, pistachios contain high amounts of melatonin, which can help you sleep better.
Though most nuts contain melatonin, pistachios contain a higher amount. So, they are a better option when it comes to healthy midnight snacks.
How many times have you munched on a packet of popcorn at a movie theater? Well, they can satisfy your midnight cravings. You don’t have to worry about calorie intake. A single serving of 3 cups can contain only 100 calories.
Corns are whole grains. So, you will get a lot of complex carbohydrates that will keep you full till morning.
Whole-grain crackers and cheese are one of the best late-night snacks. You will get a perfect balance of carbohydrates and proteins to keep you full throughout the night.
Cheese is also a source of Tryptophan, which is an amino acid helping in the synthesis of melatonin (the sleep hormone). Remember to take reduced-fat cheddar cheese to stay healthy.
If you are too lazy to cook and want some easy midnight snacks, this one is ideal for you. Moreover, toast with cheese and tomatoes also tastes yummy.
Tomatoes contain melatonin which will give you undisturbed sleep. And the toast and cheese will keep you full till breakfast.
Don't get surprised. Pumpkin seeds are fashionable these days. Moreover, they have numerous health benefits including promoting better sleep.
They contain tryptophan which helps your body to produce melatonin, helping you sleep better and longer.
You can roast the pumpkin seeds and top them up with salt and cinnamon. After all, you must listen to your taste buds too.
Yogurt is another healthy late-night snack and is delicious too. It is rich in calcium which promotes better sleep apart from making your bones strong.
Calcium helps your body to produce melatonin from the amino acid tryptophan.
Sweetened yogurts might be tempting. But if you want to avoid those extra calories, go for the unflavored one. You can top it with some berries and peaches to spoil your taste buds.
If you are hungry before bed, go and grab a banana. There can be no better option to keep you full throughout the night. Moreover, bananas are rich in potassium and magnesium. While the former relaxes your muscles, the latter helps you sleep better.
You can add a tablespoon of peanut butter to it and make a smoothie out of it. Sounds tempting? Try it out tonight.
If you are running out of late-night snack ideas, run to your kitchen. You are sure to find some eggs. They are versatile, and you can have them in any form, boiled or poached.
Eggs can be considered one of the healthy bedtime snacks. They are rich in healthy protein and will keep you full. One large egg contains about 6 grams of protein. Much of the protein is tryptophan which helps you get you good night’s sleep.
Do you crave french fries late at night? But fried snacks can mess up with your weight loss goals. Don’t worry. You can have baked ones. Moreover, sweet potatoes are a healthier option than your usual potatoes.
They are rich in fiber and also contain a bit of protein. Fiber keeps you full so that you don’t wake up in the middle of the night feeling hungry.
Grab a handful of almonds if you are looking for healthy bedtime snacks. They are rich in protein, fibre, and minerals like calcium and magnesium. So, you will feel full, and at the same time magnesium will lead to better sleep.
You can roast the almonds if you crave healthy savory snacks. However, do not add salt as that will reduce its beneficial effects.
Nuts can make midnight snacking fun. Just like almonds and pistachios, walnuts are rich in melatonin to boost your circadian rhythms. Moreover, they contain chemicals that lead to the production of serotonin (responsible for promoting better sleep).
How many times did it happen that you were hungry before bed and you devoured a packet of potato chips? And then you ended up feeling bloated and uncomfortable. Zucchini chips are an excellent alternative to fried and greasy potato chips that will leave no room for guilt.
Crunchy foods are always a delight, and what can be better than chickpeas for an easy late-night snack? You will get them in grocery stores. However, it is better to roast them at home and add your seasonings.
Since chickpeas are rich in protein, they will satisfy your stomach, keeping you full.
A whole-grain wrap is the best healthy late-night snack. A small whole-grain tortilla contains just about 94 calories. You can top it up with some yummy greens and veggies to make it tastier and healthier.
Tofu has recently become popular among vegans and vegetarians. It is a soy-based protein and contains isoflavone which supposedly leads to better sleep. Though, more research needs to be done on the relationship between tofu and improved sleep.
You can saute or light fry some vegetables with tofu in the evening. Munch on a small quantity if you get midnight cravings.
Bell Peppers have their distinct flavor that makes your food tangy and delicious. But did you ever imagine them as good bedtime snacks? You can dip them in hummus or stuff them with grains and cheese.
They are rich in vitamins and minerals and are one of the healthiest late-night snacks.
If you have a sweet tooth, don’t run to the fridge to gobble up those sweetened chocolates. They will mess up your blood sugar levels and hamper your sleep. So, dark chocolate is a better option. It is rich in antioxidants and will keep diseases at bay.
Pineapple is an excellent source of melatonin. Studies show that they can increase your body’s melatonin levels by 266%.
This delicious tropical fruit can be one of the best foods to have at night. The high melatonin levels will give you sound sleep.
An average adult should drink about 3 liters of water daily. If you do not drink adequate water, your body will get dehydrated, which can make you feel hungry. Watermelons are a good source of water and can replenish your lost energy.
Do you feel like grabbing an ice cream late at night? Here’s a simple hack. Freeze some watermelon and enjoy it to quench your midnight cravings. You don’t need to add any sweeteners because watermelon is sweet in itself.
If you are looking for the best late-night snacks for weight loss, try having an apple before bed. Apples not only keep doctors away. They can also keep your cravings at bay.
Apples contain antioxidants that can prevent chronic diseases. Moreover, an apple is low in calories but can keep you full at the same time.
Kiwis are delicious fruits that can satisfy both your taste buds and stomach. And, guess what is the bonus tip? They can also help you sleep better. A 2011 study found that people who ate 2 kiwis before bed went to sleep 45% faster and also got better sleep than those who didn’t. Isn’t that enough reason to stock them up in your house today?
What if you are hungry at midnight and craving something sweet? Grapes can satisfy your cravings without disrupting your sleep. That's because they are a rich source of melatonin. So, having a small bunch of grapes can give you a sound sleep at night.
If you are a fruit fan, you can’t miss tart cherries. Go and grab them from your nearest fruit seller. They will leave your taste buds satisfied before sleep. Moreover, research shows that tart cherries are beneficial in insomnia.
Running out of savory snack ideas? Help yourself to a serving of strawberries. These fresh and juicy fruits can satisfy your taste buds. Moreover, they are excellent sources of vitamin C and melatonin. So, you can have a healthy snack and enjoy undisturbed sleep at the same time.
Tired of fruits already? Have some cottage cheese before hitting the bed. You might avoid it for its bland taste. But, it can increase the serotonin levels in your body and induce sleep. Studies show that it can help you reach your weight loss goals pretty fast. So, the next time you are hungry at midnight, try to have some cottage cheese with a seasoning of your choice.
If you are lazy and want to grab a quick late night snack, smoothies are the best option. Just get your blender and put in your favorite fruits and vegetables. You can also add some yogurt to enhance the taste.
Smoothies are easy to make, packed with nutrients, and can keep you full throughout the night.
Avocados are delicious fruits and are a healthier option to put on your toast than butter. It is buttery but low in fat. Moreover, it is rich in fiber to keep you full till morning.
You can top your toast with some fresh coriander or other veggies to enhance the taste and get more benefits.
Who doesn’t love sandwiches? But we are not talking about those filled with tons of unhealthy carbs and calories. Make your sandwich out of brown whole wheat bread. Add veggies of your choice. You can add some yogurt inside instead of mayonnaise. It will taste creamy and awesome and is also a healthier alternative. You can also put peanut butter inside your sandwiches.
No, we are not talking of your usual caffeinated tea with loads of sugar and milk. That can mess up your night’s sleep. You can have a cup of green tea instead to relax.
You can’t afford to miss out on these lip smacking recipes if you are looking for foods to get a good night’s sleep.
Following are the foods to avoid at night.
High amounts of salt can lead to increased blood pressure. As a result, you will be unable to sleep comfortably since your heart rate will increase, making you feel restless.
It’s not only about raw salt. But all processed and packed food have high amounts of salt. So, it’s best to avoid them at night.
Meat, processed cheese, and fried snacks are not the best late-night snacks for weight loss. Moreover, your stomach will have a hard time digesting them. Thus, you will not be able to sleep peacefully.
High amounts of sugar can raise your blood sugar levels. But your body will release insulin to absorb the sugar in the cells so that they can run. This can lead to disturbed sleep as you will get overstimulated.
Now that you know how to satisfy your late-night hunger, let’s look at the pros and cons.
If you are looking for an easy late-night snack but are concerned about your health, here are a few things to remember.
If you consume heavy and high fat foods at night, you might get an upset stomach. Dietician Chrissy Arsenasult recommends having foods rich in fiber and protein. These are filling healthy snacks that will keep your unhealthy cravings at bay.
Salt and sugar are equally harmful and you should stay away from them at night. Sodium salts will increase your blood pressure making you restless. And sugary foods will make your blood sugar levels fluctuate, thereby stimulating you.
After all, your stomach needs time to digest the food. If you gulp down snacks at head straight to bed, you will have trouble falling asleep. So, it’s better to get into the habit of eating at least a couple of hours before going to bed.
Keeping a healthy sleeping schedule and going to bed early is the best way to avoid late night snacking.
Foods are meant to act as fuel to keep your body going. But your body needs to calm down and rest at night. So, make sure you do not each stuff that overstimulates you and messes up your sleep.
Effects of Diet on Sleep Quality - Marie-Pierre St-Onge, Anja Mikic, and Cara E Pietrolungo
Dietary Sources and Bioactivities of Melatonin -
How important is tryptophan in human health? -
Strategies of Functional Foods Promote Sleep in Human Being -
Soy and Health Update: Evaluation of the Clinical and Epidemiologic Literature - Mark Messina
Antioxidants in food: mere myth or magic medicine? -
Effect of kiwifruit consumption on sleep quality in adults with sleep problems -
Melatonin in grapes and grape-related foodstuffs: A review -