Sleep Talk; 5 ‘Midnight Snacks’ Your Body Actually Wants
Hello nighttime snackers! Are you with me?
Yes, even on my most health conscious days I have been known to hit the fridge pretty hard before jumping the sheets.
Sometimes you cannot help but welcome that second wind of hunger right before its time to snuggle up with a good book and your duvet.
Its us nighttime snacker’s against the world because everyone seems to want to tell us:
‘our body is in hibernation- all of those unneeded calories will go to your hips!’
‘digestion will disrupt your sleep’
While not everything you munch before bed is proactive for greater health and energy life happens and sometimes we need a little something to tide us over till our blueberry pancake stack the next day.
No one wants to go to bed with a rumbling stomach or wake up at 3 am and beeline for the peanut butter jar (guilty)
Sleep is our hero for everything from strengthening your immune system, regulating moods and hormones, repairing muscles after a hard days work and detoxification.
I’ve comprised a list of my top 5 balanced snacks to enjoy in the night hours that will help you fall asleep, stay asleep and feel pretty darn satisfied when you do it. Enjoy!
1) Whole Grain Toast with Almond Butter and Sliced Peaches
The golden ticket here is the fine balance of complex carbohydrates from the grain bread and protein from the almond butter to make sure you get a slow, release of blood sugar that won’t disrupt your sleep later on.
BONUS POINTS for sprinkling with plant protein foods like Pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, sunflower seeds containing the amino acid tryptophan, the precursor to neurotransmitter serotonin which gives us that much needed rush of ‘Chill’
2) 3 Ingredient Banana Oatmeal Cookies
Ever woken up at 3 am with a jolt? It could be that 3rd cup of chamomile before bed- or It could be your pesky hormones.
Stay away from refined sugar and simple carbohydrates before bed
While Oreo’s and milk may seemingly pair well your cat pyjamas, the coveted chocoley rush can do some major destruction on your sound sleep. But Why?! Foods high in sugar or simple carbohydrates cause your blood sugar to rocket for a short time and droop later. Your body quickly tries to compensate by pumping out stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol, putting you in high anxiety-mode. (zombie dreams, anyone?)
Craving that sweet something with your Bachelorette marathon?
Try mashing 1 ripe banana with ½ cup quick oats, with a tbsp. of nut butter and bake at 350 F for 15 minutes for an easy, comforting pre-bed nibble. Bananas are a bomb source of magnesium and potassium, which help to relax overstressed muscles at the end of a stimulating day.
Optional add in’s for successful Z’s : coconut, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, walnuts
3) Cereal with Hemp Seeds, Flax and Dried Cherries
Don’t break out the rees puffs just yet, but a fiber and protein rich bowl of cereal and milk before bed could be your answer to savvy night time noshing.
Many of us crave something crunchy to have in the evening hours, and a bowl of whole-grain cereal with milk is the perfect combination of carbohydrates and protein to increase the availability of tryptophan to the brain; boosting its sleep-inducing effects.
The dried cherries? Studies show they naturally boost the body’s supply of melatonin; our bodies signal its time to rest and repair.
4) Kefir and berries
While I’m not riding the dairy train, there’s no qualms about kefir’s ability to reduce stress and induce sleepiness through its tryptophan and calcium containing properties.
Extra points go to Kefir for being fermented, full of beneficial bacteria making it a lot easier to digest; letting that exhausted body of yours hanker down and stay asleep.
5) Sleepy Time Green Smoothie
While normally associated with get-your-but-outta-bed in a glass, you didn’t think smoothies were just good for breakfast did you?
Make use of that Vitamix to whip up a concoction containing vital nutrients to keep those sleepy eyes in peace!
A delicious combination of kale, banana, milk, almond butter and buckwheat/oats.
This creamy night time nosh is balanced with a great mix of calcium, magnesium, potassium, and tryptophan; all superstars associated with deeper, more restful sleep.
Rest Easy, Beauties! And Snack Hard.