Ever try to fall asleep on an empty stomach only to toss and turn your way into 2AM, wondering why you didn’t just have a snack before bedtime? Many of us have some misconceptions about eating before bed—namely, that it’ll keep us awake or make us gain weight. But neither of those are necessarily true. When you’re hungry, filling your belly with the right snacks before bed can mean the difference between a full night’s sleep and a miserable morning.
We know, we know—no one wants to make a full meal at 10 PM just to be able to fall pass out. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of quick, easy, LIV-approved snacks that you can make in under 5 minutes that will fill you up and help you nod off—without packing on the pounds. Read on for our favorite nighttime munchies under 200 calories.
Almonds & Almond Butter
Remember that sleep-inducing amino acid called tryptophan we all hear so much about at Thanksgiving? Turns out, tryptophan actually helps your brain produce serotonin, the “happy hormone” that has been known to help with sleep. Lots of foods besides turkey contain tryptophan, and almonds are one of them. Consider a handful of almonds before you hit the hay, or drizzle some almond butter on a banana for a filling and low-calorie snack.
1 serving of almonds: 162 calories
1 tablespoon of almond butter: 101 calories
We’re pretty sure we’re not going to have to push you too hard to try this one. Whether it’s Swiss, Brie, or string, cheese contains protein to fill you up, tryptophan to help you on your way to sleep, and calcium to nudge your brain into utilizing the tryptophan. The lowest-calorie cheese is Feta, which is perfect for spreading on some crackers before bed. (Just don’t eat it inbed—this little late-night delicacy can produce a lot of crumbs!)
Average for 1 ounce of cheese: 75-110 calories
Don’t leave the dairy aisle just yet! Like cheese, Greek yogurt also contains protein and calcium, but it tends to be a lower-calorie option. Greek yogurt is preferable to regular yogurt because it’s got less sugar and calories, which means it’s great for nighttime snacking. (BONUS: Some say dairy can enhance your dreams, making them more vivid and lifelike. Here’s hoping you get one of those awesome flying scenarios!)
Average for 1 container of yogurt: 100 calories
Did you know that cherries contain tiny amounts of the sleep hormone melatonin? That’s right, aside from being a delicious low-calorie option, this delicious fruit can actually help you fall asleep! It’s not enough to make a big difference, but you can rest assured you’ll be eating a snack that helps, instead of hurts, your chances for some quality ZZZs. Throw some in a bowl for a great nighttime snack.
1 cup: 90 calories
Cereal or Oatmeal
It’s all about the grains! The grains in oatmeal spike your blood sugar level, which, strangely enough, can help you fall asleep faster. That warm, cozy feeling you get from holding a steaming bowl of oatmeal doesn’t hurt, either.
Average for 1 serving: 150-160 calories
Bananas contain potassium and magnesium- two nutrients that are great for helping your muscles relax. Bananas also contain tryptophan and boost serotonin, for that pleased, “all is right in the world” feeling that makes sleep so much easier.
1 banana: 105 calories
Liquid I.V. Sleep
Pair any of the above snacks with Liquid I.V. Sleep! Our precise ratio of Melatonin, L-Theanine and Valerian root can help you ease into sleep fast. Simply pour a stick into 8 ounces of water, mix, and drink! We recommend drinking it 15-30 minutes before bedtime for optimal shut-eye.
1 serving: 30 calories
See? Eating before bed doesn’t have to be scary! Pick up a few of these light snack options the next time you’re at the grocery store, and have them on hand the next time you hear that old familiar late-night stomach grumble. Sleep well!