5 Midnight Snacks That Won't Hinder Your Sleep
We all know that feeling. Tossing and turning in bed. Trying to fight it for a while longer, willing yourself to go back to sleep. But at the end of the day, your belly and brain have a different idea – and eventually, hunger always wins.
An empty stomach is impossible to ignore. And in fact, you really shouldn’t. Because it’s your body telling you that you aren't eating enough of the right energy and nutrient-rich foods to support it while you sleep. You might not be physically active, but your metabolism doesn't stop. To make sure you can maintain all the functions of your body, brain and nervous system - and get a refreshing overnight recharge - you need to eat the right food throughout the day.
So before you reach for the first thing in the fridge, take a look at these five super-tasty and nutritional snacks. They’ll help you wave goodbye to late-night hunger pangs and say hello to a great night's slumber.
They’re not the most obvious choice, but these small stoned fruits are a great source of melatonin. That’s the sleep-inducing hormone which lowers your body temperature and helps it return to sleep mode. Cherries also contain vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant that helps to keep your connective tissues, bones and nerves healthy. A small bowl will give you the vitamin boost you need and fill you up, so you can go back to bed happy after a healthy snack.
Cottage cheese and wholemeal crackers
The casein protein in cottage cheese is released and digested slowly, which will stop you from getting hungry again during the night. Pair the cottage cheese with a few multigrain crackers and it will provide you with a good source of vitamin B. This will give you to the right balance of nutrients for energy, fibre for healthy digestion, and Iron to support the production of your red blood cells.
Banana and peanut butter
Bananas are super easy to digest and filled with magnesium and potassium, which helps to relax your muscles. Spread a little peanut butter on top and you're on to a winner! The good fat in nuts helps to lower cholesterol (just make sure it's whole food or organic peanut butter as many of the others often contain additives.) It also contains tryptophan, an amino acid that gets converted into melatonin and serotonin to help you relax and finally get back to sleep.
It’s not just for breakfast; porridge also makes a great midnight snack. Oats are complex carbs, which help to make more tryptophan in the brain and kick start the production of serotonin and melatonin. Try topping this with some honey and chopped almonds for a super-boost of all that good stuff before you go back to bed with a warm, happy tummy.
‘Tis nearly the season to eat turkey, and what better way to get the super-boost of tryptophan you need, than with a couple of slices of turkey on oatmeal bread. The turkey is a great, lean protein source that won't affect your waistline. The oats will release slowly into the body, helping to keep you fuller for longer and produce that lovely relaxing serotonin. Turkey sandwiches all year round, anyone?
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