I often get hungry right before bed, but never know what to eat. Are there foods that will help me sleep? What do you recommend as a snack right before going to sleep? Thanks for the help.
— Hungry and Tired
Going to bed hungry doesn't promote sleep, so having a snack will promote healthier slumber. Mind you, a stuffed stomach is not pleasant for sleeping either, think acid reflux so you want to keep it light — about 200 calories or less.
Foods that contain the amino acid tryptophan, most famously found in turkey but also found in milk, do promote sleep. A cup of warm milk is soothing and calming, plus the calcium helps the brain process the tryptophan.
For a few other ideas read more.
You could also roll a slice of turkey around an low-fat cheese stick. Pairing your tryptophan with quality carbs can help the amino acid get to work as well. So whole-grain cereal with milk makes sense as a bedtime snack even though we consider it breakfast food. If warm food sounds cozier, try oatmeal with a bit peanut butter stirred in, since this nut contains tryptophan as well.
Bananas are known for promoting sleep, and research shows that potassium is an important mineral for deep sleep. A simple snack of whole-wheat toast with almond butter makes a fine bedtime snack, as almonds might promote sleep as well.
Hope these suggestions help. Sleep tight!