Do you or members of your family crave snacks before bed, even after a filling dinner? Here are a few healthy food options from Well+Good that will satisfy cravings and possibly improve sleep:
• Bananas: “Bananas are high in vitamin B6, which converts tryptophan into serotonin, which in turn makes us more sleepy,” said registered dietitian Melissa Rifkin for Well+Good. “One easy banana-based dessert she likes to have is cut up bananas mixed into a bowl of cottage cheese, which is a good source of protein. Or, you can try one of the below recipes for more banana-based snack ideas.”
• Yogurt: A good source of protein, healthy fats, probiotics and tryptophan is yogurt, which can be combined with berries for a sweet snack without added sugar (you don’t want a sugar rush before bed).
• Peanut butter: A source of protein and healthy fats, peanuts also contain tryptophan. Well+Good recommends spreading some peanut butter on whole-wheat toast for a pre-bed snack.
• Tart cherries: ideal for a frozen smoothie, tart cherries are a source of melatonin (a hormone that can promote sleep). “They also contain the phytochemical procyanidin B-2, which is believed to protect the amino acid tryptophan in your blood,” said Rifkin.
• Kiwis: Another source of serotonin, kiwis can be mixed with yogurt or frozen and made into dippable kiwi pops.
• Milks: Dairy and alternative milks contain protein and tryptophan. Almond milk is high in magnesium, which is also linked to good sleep. Well+Good recommends combining your preferred type of warm milk with turmeric (a spice that fights inflammation), ginger and cinnamon, or ashwagandha, ginger and cardamom.