Larry Martino

Larry Martino

Larry Martino

What should you eat when you have the bedtime munchies?

It’s late at night and you’re ready to hit the rack, but you’re still a little hungry. You open the fridge and you mutter to yourself: “There’s nothing good to eat in here.” So, you grab a bag of delicious salty potato chips or pretzels, and you take care of your bedtime munchies.

If that’s the case, then get ready for a restless night in bed, tossing and turning, getting more and more frustrated as you watch the clock tick towards the time that your alarm is set to go off.

There are foods and beverages you should really avoid when you have the bedtime munchies. I found an article written by Erica Sweeney on which lists some of those items you want to stay away from.

Of course, drinking caffeinated beverages within 2-3 hours before bed is a big no-no. But, did you know that sipping on a glass of wine before bed is also something to avoid? Sure, you may fall asleep quickly, but once the effects of the alcohol wear off, you will end up with an interrupted sleep pattern. Who knew?!?

Oh man, how about a nice cup or bowl of your favorite ice cream before bed? Even if you don’t have a problem digesting dairy, those types of creamy desserts contain lots of saturated fat, which experts believe causes “lighter and less restorative sleep.” Avoid dairy late at night if you can.

In fact, you will want to avoid all sugary and salty snacks late at night. Sure, they cure those bedtime munchies, but they are high in processed sugar and complex carbohydrates which will cause a spike in your blood sugar and make it very difficult to get a good night’s sleep.

Finally, you will want to avoid eating spicy foods before bedtime. As you may have noticed if you’ve eaten spicy foods within 3-4 hours of your bedtime, they can cause indigestion and acid reflux. That makes for a really rough night. Even if the spicy foods don’t upset your digestive process, researchers believe that the main ingredient in spicy foods – Capsaicin – raises your body temperature. Higher body temperature leads to a restless night in bed.

So what should you snack on when you have the bedtime munchies? Scroll down and see what the experts in Sweeney’s article recommend.

  • Steamed Or Raw Vegetables

    This is a tough one, especially late at night. Are you really going to steam some broccoli? Never. But, maybe grabbing some raw carrots or celery will cure those bedtime munchies without disrupting your sleep pattern.

    A plate full of colorful sliced raw vegetables, including carrots, cucumbers, green onions, celery, red peppers, herbs, and hummus dip, set on a counter top.

    Yummy pic via Getty Images

  • Greek Yogurt

    As long as dairy products do not upset your stomach, this is a great late night choice for snacking. Mix the yogurt with some berries or granola, and you’re munching on simple carbs and leaner protein and fat. Pretty tasty too!

    A bowl of plain yogurt set on a wooden table with a blue checkered napkin and blueberries spread around haphazardly on the table. There is a metal spoon to the left of the bowl of yogurt.

    Miki1988 via Getty Images

  • Fruit

    Always a sweet and tasty choice for a late night snack. The natural sugars in fruit should not upset your sleep patterns as much as munching on candy or other food items filled with processed cane sugar. Mix some of these fruits with the Greek yogurt and make it a meal!

    A variety of sweet summer fruits in various sized bowls, placed on a blue wooden table. Fruits pictured include raspberries, blueberries, cherries, green seedless grapes, strawberries, blackberries, and nectarines.

    franny-anne via Getty Images

  • Peanut Butter

    Yum! I love peanut butter. I really love peanut butter and strawberry jelly sandwiches, but mixing in the jelly and bread late at night is not a good idea. It’s even better if your peanut butter is organic, natural, or homemade, rather than one of the famous brands. Mix it with one of the fruits we listed above, or go with a popular companion – bananas.

    A dish of homemade, all natural peanut butter with sliced bananas in the foreground. The jar of peanut butter and a bunch of unpeeled bananas are seen in the background out of focus. All the items are placed on a beige table cloth.

    Professor25 via Getty Images

  • Dark Chocolate

    Well, who knew dietary experts would give us the opportunity to eat candy? Sure, dark chocolate is not as sweet as milk chocolate, but it comes pretty close. You can pair it with some sweet berries so it does not taste as bitter as it might on its own. That should satisfy your chocolate cravings and help you fall fast asleep. Sleep tight!

    Dark chocolate shavings, chunks, and broken pieces, piled up on a dark background.

    Farion_O via Getty Images

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