Late Night Snacks To Have You Sleeping Well 23.08.2013

what to eat before going to bed

Sometimes, after a long day doing.… well, all the many things I do in a day, I look at the clock and think, “I really should hurry off to bed so I can get up early and do all of this again tomorrow.” I really try to get a decent amount of sleep each night so that I can function at full capacity (or at least pretty close). But quite often I find that I face a little problem. Just as I am ready to head off to bed I get that all too familiar feeling…

I’m hungry!

So now what do I do? I know that I need to head to bed now if I want to get enough sleep, so I don’t want to spend time making (and eating) a snack. But I also know my stomach is not going to be quiet and just let me go to bed either. And of course I won’t sleep well if my stomach is this empty and my blood sugar isn’t balanced. I also need to be careful because a sugary bedtime snack can lead to a blood sugar spike, and then crash, that can lead to a groggy and grumpy morning.

If you find yourself in this situation you need simple, quick snacks that you can grab and eat in a few minutes, and that have a good balance of carbs, fat, and protein.

Grab and Eat

Here are some quick, satisfying, and delicious snacks to send you off to dreamland:

  • Greek yogurt (choose plain and add a bit of fresh fruit or granola, to keep sugar to a minimum)
  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Crackers or a slice of toast with nut butter
  • Cheese
  • Nuts
  • Veggies and hummus (if you keep pre-cut veggies in your fridge it’s easy to grab a handful and gobble them up with some hummus)
  • A bowl of cereal or granola with milk (choose cereals with less than 6 grams of sugar per serving to keep blood sugar from spiking then crashing while you sleep)
  • Fruit – great paired with one of the above protein-rich options, like egg or cheese

Plan Ahead

You can also take some time to prepare some foods ahead of time so that when that last-minute hunger hits, you can easily find something to eat. A few things you can make ahead are:

  • Muffins – use whole wheat flour (or almond flour for a gluten free option) and less sugar, and eat it spread with your favorite nut butter for a protein boost.
  • Granola – This can be high in sugar if you aren’t careful. It’s best to make it yourself so you can control the sugar and peanut butter granola is a great way to up the protein. You can also mix in chopped nuts with your granola and serve over plain greek yogurt or with milk to balance the sugar and protein.
  • Oatmeal bars – oatmeal is very filling and satisfying. But when you’re ready to go to bed you probably don’t want to spend time making oatmeal. Instead, you can mix up a pot of oatmeal, spread it in a greased baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for approximately 20 minutes. Let it cool and cut into bars. Then you can wrap and store these bars so they are ready to go when hunger strikes.

If you want a no sugar added option for oatmeal bars check out this recipe from Lean Green Mommy (who calls them Breakfast Cookies. Fun, right?):

Breakfast Cookies

  • 5 very ripe bananas, mashed
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 3 TBS peanut butter
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 4 cups oats
  • 2 cups dried fruits, nuts, chocolate chips (these will, of course, add a bit of sugar)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a 9×13 baking dish. In a large bowl mix everything but oats and add-ins (fruit, nuts, etc). Once well mixed fold in oats until mixed through. Then fold in add-ins. Spread in baking dish and smooth out the top. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown on top and middle is set. Allow to cool completely before cutting into bars.

With all of these great options you’ll be sleeping satisfied and well fed which will have you ready to conquer the next day!

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