If you get the munchies at bedtime, there are some bedtime snacks that are better than others for encouraging a good night’s sleep.
- Bowl of Rice – New research shows that a diet containing rice is associated with a decreased risk of poor sleep by up to 46%, compared to bread (which had no effect) or noodles (which made sleep quality worse). Scientists suggest that high glycemic index foods like rice many improve tryptophan and melatonin production. If you have leftover rice in the fridge, warm it up in the microwave with a splash of milk.
- Walnuts – Walnuts are full of melatonin and according to a study in Nutrition, eating them has been proven to increase levels in your blood. Just a handful will do since nuts are also high in calories. Look for pre-packaged 1-ounce servings.
- Whole Grain Toast with Almond Butter – One tablespoon of almond butter offers a good dose of magnesium. Research shows that magnesium deficiency is linked to insomnia and muscle cramps, which can disrupt sleep. Some reports show that nearly 70% of adults don’t consume enough magnesium. Whole grains also contain magnesium and a small helping of carbs promotes sleep as well.
- Ham and Cheese Roll-Up – A small slice of cheese and one slice of tryptophan-packed ham equals about 100 calories, enough to help you feel full, but not so much that it’s bad for you. Cheese is also full of casein, proteins, which, when eaten 30 minutes before bed, have been found to improve your metabolism the next day.
- Banana Smoothie – a blend of banana and low-fat milk contains vitamin D and calcium. These two nutrients have been associated with a decreased chance of difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep, according to a study published in the Journal of Sleep Research. Bananas are also an excellent source of magnesium and B6, a vitamin that increases serotonin (a relaxing neurotransmitter) production.