It is strange that you wake up at three o’clock in the morning, when the world is dark, your stomach is buzzing and the kitchen is gesturing. You are hungry for something. It’s not breakfast – it’s no meal, so chips and salsa are the same option as the steak left a few hours ago.
What can you eat that will deprive you of the opportunity to sleep for the rest of the night? And most importantly, what options don’t make you feel like a trash can tomorrow? HuffPost interviewed several registered nutritionists to talk about getting solid snacks in the middle of the night and getting tips on the ideal combination to put them back to sleep.
The best midnight snacks
“There’s a reason you’re tired after Thanksgiving dinner. Turkey is rich in the amino acid L-tryptophan, which is known to promote drowsiness and relaxation, ”said nutritionist Marissa Meshulam. Delhi-style turkey breast is the perfect choice to satisfy your cravings in the middle of the night, either on your own or wrapped in a half sandwich. Protein from Turkey should stop starvation by morning, and tryptophan is a great way to get back to sleep. Meshulam Applegate Organics recommends herbal turkey because it does not contain any preservatives or sugar.
According to Meshulam, Any snack we choose should include protein and fiber to keep you energized for the rest of the night. This classic combination provides satisfaction from cheese protein and crispy, fiber-filled crackers.
Another major benefit? “Cheese contains some tryptophan, which is also converted to melatonin and helps with sleep,” Meshulam said. Choose a low-fiber cracker to keep your blood sugar stable (you can also go for almond flour crackers).
Refreshing and crispy vegetables like baby carrots, cherry tomatoes and cucumbers are a quick and easy meal in the middle of the night combined with your favorite hummus. Amanda FrankenA registered nutritionist and program director of the Food Reputation Movement explained: “I swear, people often forget that they like to eat vegetables. If you miss a dose of your product during the day, squeeze it at night. Two tablespoons of hummus protein, fiber and completely satisfies. “
Tart cherries and pistachios
lot of reads Tart cherries have been shown to eat fruits and vegetables to improve overall sleep. Tart cherries contain the hormone melatonin, which naturally plays a role in sleep, so they are a great snack in the middle of the night. Meshulam recommends combining cake cherries with pistachios. “Pistachios keep you satisfied with fat / protein and also provide melatonin,” he said.
Choosing snacks that balance blood sugar, such as bananas and walnut oil, can be important for high-quality sleep, because sugary diets, especially before bedtime, are the opposite. Frank explains: “Fruits contain potassium, a muscle relaxant, and complex carbohydrates that help control blood sugar levels. Combine it with peanut oil, a source of healthy fats and tryptophan, which promotes sleep. This combo is easily made in the middle of the night and is a total winner in my book.
A warm glass of milk may be ideal for putting babies to sleep, but it may also be ideal for putting them back to sleep when they wake up. According to Frankenie, combine milk with whole grains and low-sugar grains to create a balanced blood sugar snack. “Add milk to your calcium, it helps your body produce and use melatonin,” Frankeni explained.
If you are looking for a snack to eat from your bed, a protein bar is a great choice. (I think of all breastfeeding mothers.) Sweet, crunchy and a little salty, protein or granola bars are the perfect midnight treat made from walnuts or oats. “Walnuts, almonds and pistachios offer natural melatonin, protein and magnesium, which make you feel full and sleepy,” Franken said. He warns to stay away from bars that smell of chocolate or coffee because they can wake readers up. If you are wondering how to look for a healthy bar, check out our full guide.
How to make sure you don’t wake up hungry
Adequate sleep is important for good health. While it is good to eat from time to time, waking up hungry every night can indicate other problems. Registered nutritionist Barbara Ruhs advises readers to consider their habits. “Are you eating enough (are you getting enough calories / energy for your daily routine)? Are you eating early and not eating enough at bedtime because you’re on a fitness routine in the evening?” he asked. Before going to bed, try adding extra snacks or mini-meals throughout the day to ensure you meet your daily requirements.
Anxiety or discomfort may be other causes of waking up in the middle of the night. “Sometimes anxiety can wake us up in the middle of the night and we confuse it with hunger,” Spirit explained. “If you think that’s possible, it’s not a bad idea to wake up and make a cup of herbal (decaffeinated) tea to calm the nerves.”
Make sure your sleeping area is dark and quiet and your bed is as comfortable as possible to prevent overnight meals. Meshulam said, “We often make it a habit to eat at a certain time (that is, when we wake up and think we need a snack) and instead we really want to check with our body what is happening.”
If all else fails, it may be time to see a doctor to determine if you have any other medical problems.