The importance of sleep in your overall program to wellness and improving your fitness level cannot be overstressed. Not only is sleep going to be the primary time when your body is in high-recovery mode, repairing all the torn down muscle fibers from the workout that you completed that day, but by sleeping enough you’re also going to help keep your immune system strong, help keep your metabolism running efficiently, and help to ward off hunger the next day.
Those who don’t get enough sleep often experience a higher rate of overall obesity, as noted by a study conducted by the Sleep journal, so if fighting off weight gain is a concern of yours, you’ll definitely want to be sure you’re sleeping enough.
What you eat in the hours leading up to your night-time slumber will influence how quickly you fall asleep and how well you stay asleep, so giving some consideration to your late night snack can help promote better overall sleep quality.
Let’s have a look at a few of the top snacks to eat before you turn in for the evening.
Half A Turkey Sandwich
The very first snack that will definitely induce slumber is half a turkey sandwich. Getting in some protein before bed is important so that your muscles have amino acids to feast on during the overnight period as this is what they will use to build and repair those muscle tissues.
Turkey is a protein source that is rich in one particular amino acid, tryptophan, which is going to have sleep inducing qualities.
By serving it up on a slice of whole wheat bread with some fresh vegetables you help keep the total calorie count low, making this a nice light snack that won’t weigh you down.
Cottage Cheese With Almonds
The next snack to consider is a small bowl of cottage cheese along with some almonds. Cottage cheese is perfect before bed because this source of protein is known as casein protein, and will digest much more slowly in the body.
To add to that, dairy is also rich in tryptophan so yet another food possessing this sleep promoting quality.
With the almonds added to that, you’ll supply some healthy fats to your body so the protein takes even longer to break down in the overnight period.
Yogurt With Cherries
If you’re someone who prefers yogurt over cottage cheese, then having some yogurt with cherries on top will be another great snack before turning in for the evening.
Cherries are a great source of vitamins and antioxidants and will also contain melatonin, which is a substance that’s naturally found in the body that will help to regulate the sleep-wake cycle.
By serving this up before bed you should notice that you have an easier time falling asleep and then staying asleep as the night progresses.
Cereal With Milk
Finally, the last option to serve up before bed is a small bowl of cereal with some milk. Again, the milk being a dairy product will provide you with some tryptophan, and the carbohydrates in the cereal will also cause a serotonin release in the brain, which will help to reduce stress and put you in a feel-good state of well-being.
Many people find that this will have a calming effect on their body and promote drowsiness, so this could also help you fall asleep faster.
So next time you’re headed to bed for the evening, consider any one of these great snacks. All are going to come in at under about 200 calories, so will be an easy-add to your diet plan.
Cappuccio, F.P. et al. (2008). Meta-Analysis of Short Sleep Duration and Obesity in Children and Adults. Sleep. May 1; 31(5):619-626.