Friday, September 11, 2020

Here's the Best Bed-Time Snacks You Can Bake

Snacking close to bedtime has been blamed by health experts for everything from weight gain to insomnia. If you're hungry close to bedtime, it's hard to ignore your belly. One method you could try is to tweak your meal times or adjust your sleep schedule. If you absolutely need a snack in order to fall asleep, it's wise to choose foods with tryptophan. This amino acid helps your body make serotonin, which encourages sleep. Here are some nutritious snack options that could help you sleep better.

Sourced from Unspalsh

High-protein, Sleep-boosting Snacks
A healthy bedtime snack should be high in protein and have some complex carbohydrates. A snack with some calcium is also a good idea. While you sleep, your body repairs bone and muscle tissue, and it needs calcium to do that. Some healthy choices include a scrambled egg, one-half cup of diced turkey, one cup of low-fat milk or a one-inch cube of any kind of cheese.

Low-calorie Snacks
If you're watching your weight, try not to eat more than 100 calories in your evening snack. There are many healthy options that will settle the grumble in your tummy without adding inches to your waistline. Try three cups of air-popped popcorn, two cups of baby carrots, one-half cup of cottage cheese with one cup of raspberries, blueberries or strawberries or a low-fat cheese stick. Some other options include four slices of low-fat deli ham wrapped in Romaine lettuce and topped with mustard, a hard-boiled egg with three whole-grain saltine crackers or 25 pistachios. A cup of herbal tea with a squeeze of lemon juice is a calorie-free choice that could also encourage sleepiness.

Bedtime Snacks for Athletes and Teens

Athletes who are working out hard and trying to build muscle should consider a high-protein snack in the evening. The protein helps with tissue repair and regeneration after an intense workout. Teens growing rapidly could also benefit from the extra protein. Some good options include a couple of hard-boiled eggs, a handful of almonds or cashews or a one-inch cube of cheese. Each of these snacks contains about 100 calories of healthy protein and fat.

Snacks to Avoid Before Bedtime

Some snacks could make it difficult to fall asleep. Avoid snacks that are high in sugar. Don't eat a doughnut, cookies, slice of pie, candy bar or bowl of ice cream before bed. Avoid spicy or greasy snacks, which could trigger heartburn or acid reflux. Don't consume drinks containing alcohol or caffeine. They'll disturb your sleep cycle, making you wake up every couple of hours.

In addition to what you might want to avoid before bedtime, you may want to consider how you can tire the mind before laying your head down. Things like word puzzles and playing games at are great at exercising the mind before bed. Just like physical exercise tires the body, cognitive games do the same. This is a great way to further help the mind and body get ready for a quality nights sleep.

Consider Changing Your Dinners

If you're famished by bedtime, your dinners might not include the right combination of nutrients. Consider changing the proportions of protein, fat and carbohydrates you eat at dinner. You might also consider changing the timing of your dinner so that it coordinates better with your sleep schedule. Make sure your dinner is at least two hours before bedtime. Your meal should include plenty of protein and a moderate amount of complex carbohydrates. A few examples include a chicken or tofu stir fry with veggies or grilled fish with a baked sweet potato. This combination will help you feel full longer, so you might not be as hungry at bedtime.

This is a guest blog entry.

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