Ever feel like you need a little snack after dinner before you go to bed? Typically, I recommend that you stop eating a few hours before bed for a number of reasons. For example, snacking after dinner often means mindless munching on the couch, which can add up to more calories than you need. If you tend to get heartburn or have acid reflux, those nighttime nibbles can cause gastric distress that can keep interrupt your sleep. And when you don’t get restful sleep, it can wreak havoc on your moods, memory, and energy the next day. Not getting adequate sleep also makes you more inclined to guzzle caffeine, skip your workout, eat junk food, and drink more alcohol—definitely NOT the Brain Warrior’s Way*.
However, if you really need something after dinner, there are healthy options that can actually promote relaxation. In particular, a small snack—emphasis on small—including magnesium-rich foods paired with a little healthy fat and protein, can help keep your blood sugar balanced while encouraging a more restful night of sleep.
Here are 4 healthy nighttime snacks:
Sipping herbal tea, such as chamomile, vanilla, or valerian can promote relaxation. Personally, I love having a cup of warm tea in the evening and make it part of my bedtime ritual. It’s very soothing and starts shifting me into wind-down mode.
Warmed Green Apple (or pear) with Almond Butter and Cinnamon
This oh-so-simple snack has a hint of apple pie to satisfy your cravings, but it doesn’t have any of the refined sugar, gluten, or flour. Simply slice up an apple—I recommend just half an apple for a nighttime snack—sprinkle the slices with cinnamon and pop them in the oven at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes. While that’s heating up, put a tablespoon of almond butter into a small bowl for dipping.
Cherries and Walnuts
This snack-worthy duo packs a powerful sleepy time punch. Tart cherries are a natural source of melatonin, the hormone that tells your body when it’s time to sleep. Walnuts, which are packed with magnesium, are also known as one of the best nutritional sources of melatonin. The fatty acids in walnuts also provide an omega-3 fatty acid called ALA that is converted to DHA. And DHA is known to boost the sleep-promoting neurotransmitter serotonin. For this all-natural snack, grab about 10 cherries and about 1 teaspoon of chopped walnuts.
Unsweetened Plant-Based Yogurt With Pumpkin Seeds
Alternative yogurts made from almonds, coconut, or oats are loaded with sleep-enhancing magnesium but don’t have any of the dairy that many Brain Warriors* find hard to digest. Sprinkle your yogurt with a teaspoon of pumpkin seeds, which are not only very high in magnesium but are also a natural source of tryptophans, a sleep-inducing amino acid. This satisfying snack will tide you over until morning.
You can find many more snack recipes on my website. If you need more help getting to sleep and staying asleep, Restful Sleep contains melatonin and nutrients to help your body and mind relax, so you can ease into a peaceful night’s rest. You can take 21% off your order when you use the promo code TANA21.