Who doesn’t love a midnight snack or having a late treat before bed? But what can you actually eat before sleeping without being plagued by stomach pains during the night?
With the right choice of food, you can even sleep better, because certain foods can promote relaxing sleep.
Your ticket to the land of dreams is tryptophan, an amino acid that’s needed for the formation of the sleep-promoting hormone melatonin. We show you where it’s found and which other nutrients you can eat before bedtime to get your best zzz’s.
Fatty foods are generally heavy in the stomach as the body needs a lot of time to digest them, and so a fatty diet makes for a restless sleep. But avocados are different, because they contain monounsaturated fatty acids, which are easily digestible and well digestible.
About 550mg of potassium are in 100g avocado, so they’re also a good source of the mineral. Our muscles particularly benefit from this, because potassium is involved in the transmission of nerve impulses *.
Walnuts also contain healthy fatty acids, but they’re mostly beneficial for sleep due to their tryptophan content. This is an essential amino acid, i.e. our body can’t produce it itself and needs to get enough of it in our diet. It’s one of the building blocks for serotonin, a happiness hormone, and melatonin, which makes us tired and sleepy. Without sufficient melatonin, it’s difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep.
So, a small handful of walnuts after dinner is a helpful tip for mild insomnia.
Tryptophan, magnesium, and potassium are all found in bananas, which make them valuable for restful sleep. You already know the importance of potassium for nerve conduction and tryptophan for melatonin production in the body.
Magnesium is also an important mineral in the transmission of nerve impulses, and it plays a role in the release of melatonin. A study also found that a magnesium deficiency leads to poor sleep quality **.
Another plus is that bananas are easy to digest, so you can eat them just before sleep without worrying you’ll wake up in the night with stomach pain.
Here’s our secret about having breakfast cereals in the evening. Whether made from oats, soy, or spelt, they contain valuable B vitamins. Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) in particular is crucial for a good night’s sleep. In a study, scientists found that vitamin B6 also helps us remember our dreams better, which may be fascinating to know for those interested in lucid dreaming.
Incidentally, oatmeal also contains carbohydrates and it makes sense to eat them before sleeping, because tryptophan must be actively transported through the blood-brain barrier, and carbohydrates facilitate this transport.
For better digestibility, you can soak your oatmeal or cook it into porridge. This way, you won’t stress your digestion before going to bed. How about a delicious Protein Pumpkin Spice Overnight Oats recipe?
Sometimes we don’t really feel hungry, we just have a craving. If you had a rich dinner and still feel hungry, a drink like a cup of tea can help you.
A cozy tea can also provide a little break and relaxation. This is the ideal way for your head to switch off before bedtime. But be careful, if you frequently have to go to the bathroom during the night, you shouldn’t drink too much in the evening.
#6 Low fat curd
Milk, cheese, and quark all score points with the amino acid tryptophan, B vitamins, and magnesium. You can also eat low-fat quark shortly before going to bed, because it’s easier to digest than fatty dairy products.
Fit while you sleep: Quark is especially interesting for athletes as a bedtime snack, because it contains a lot of casein, which is needed for muscle regeneration.
#7 Moon Milk
Along with golden milk, moon milk is now joining the ranks of trendy drinks from Ayurvedic cuisine. A non-dairy milk, cinnamon, vanilla, lavender, ashwagandha, and honey (or a plant-based alternative) are a typical recipe for sweet dreams.
But even just some warm milk with honey soothes the body as a home remedy for insomnia. There is, however, no scientific explanation for this other than the comforting tastes.
Summary: Eat right before sleep
If you want to be fit during the day, you need a restful night to charge up. Protein-rich foods with the amino acid tryptophan, minerals such as magnesium and potassium, B vitamins, and secondary plant substances are important for this. In the evening, make sure you eat a diet that is easy to digest, which will save you from stomach aches, heartburn, and a feeling of fullness that keep you awake.
More things to know from foodspring:
- 7 rituals to bring your evening routine to the next level
- Why You Need to Add Yoga Nidra to Your Routine
- The Secret Reason You Should Eat Peanut Butter Before Bed
* Potassium contributes to normal functioning of the nervous system.
** Magnesium contributes to normal functioning of the nervous system and the reduction of fatigue and fatigue.