If you’re having trouble sleeping, the last thing you might think to do is grab a snack. Aside from weight gain, eating close to bedtime is often discouraged because people believe it will keep you awake, but the right snacks can actually help you sleep better.
Choosing snacks rich in carbohydrates are your best bet. Carbohydrates affect insulin secretion, which can influence a sleep regulatory part of your circadian rhythm. Raising your blood sugar with a snack can raise your insulin levels, which can help tryptophan enter your brain and thus bring on sleep.
While carbs are suggested, carbo-loading is not. A small carbohydrate-protein balanced snack about 200 calories or less should suffice without impacting your weight. Be sure to avoid foods that contain caffeine (ex. chocolate, some decaffeinated teas), as this will have the opposite effect.
Some suggested nightly snacks:
- A slice of whole wheat toast with a tablespoon of almond butter
- A piece of fruit with a tablespoon of peanut butter
- A half cup of rice
- A half ounce of nuts and ¼ cup of dried fruit
- A half cup of cereal with milk
- A few crackers with cheese
- A half cup of Greek yogurt
Do you have any night time snacks or other practices that help you get a good night’s rest? March 6-12 is Sleep Awareness Week, so share your best tips and tricks with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. You can also find us on Instagram and Vine.
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