Need a Bedtime Snack? Try One of These

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If you gotta indulge, then keep it healthy.

Technically speaking, you’re not supposed to eat right before bed. Your body should be focusing on getting to sleep, not processing food, plus going to sleep right after eating something heavy will reduce the calories your metabolism burns off naturally. Of course, if we all lived our lives based on what’s technically true, nutrition advice wouldn’t be a thing. We all get those late-night cravings every now and then, and it’s not the end of the world to have a tasty little send-off for the day, provided you eat something healthy rather than a tub of ice cream.

If you want something sweet and filling, a banana is a great choice. In addition to being a great craving-sater in general, bananas are high in vitamin B6, which is what your body uses to convert tryptophan into serotonin. Serotonin, if you didn’t know, is one of the primary sleep chemicals, so more serotonin means sounder sleep. If you like, you can also have some peanut butter with that banana, or spread both on some wheat toast. Peanut butter, in addition to protein and healthy fats, contains tryptophan, so combined with a banana’s converting properties, that’s a recipe for a whole lot of serotonin.

If you’re craving a slightly different sweetness, try some tart cherries. Cherries contain melotonin, another primary sleep-inducing chemical, as well as procyanidin B-2, a phytochemical that helps protect your body’s supply of tryptophan. Mix ’em into a smoothie with some yogurt, and you’ll have a tasty, nutritious treat that’s easy for your body to digest.