There’s nothing worse than waking up in the middle of the night absolutely starving. OK, maybe there are quite a few things in life that are worse than that, but still, waking up hungry can totally disrupt your sleep cycle, and if you eat the wrong thing, it can become really difficult to fall back asleep. Finding midnight snacks that won’t keep you up all night is totally essential if you’re someone who tends to nibble on something long after dinnertime. Although this can be easier said than done, it becomes way less stressful once you follow a basic set of rules, and do a little meal prep to ensure you have the right snacks on-hand at all times.
According to Everyday Health, there are a few basic rules of thumb for picking a midnight snack: You should avoid anything high in sugar, spicy, or too fatty, and you should opt for complex carbohydrates and protein-based snacks, which will fill you up and digest slowly, without making your stomach work too hard all night while you’re snoozing.
Of course, it can be hard to think of a snack that fulfills these needs, especially if you wake up in the middle of the night craving a big bowl of ramen or a scoop (or three) of ice cream. But if you have snacks prepared, it’ll be easier to grab them, take a few bites, and head to bed. Here are seven snack ideas for the night owls who wake up starving.
1Peanut Butter And Banana
A few dollops of peanut butter to accompany a banana is one of the best nighttime snacks, since it has protein and, according to Lifehacker, a banana’s one-two punch of potassium and magnesium are excellent muscle-relaxers.
Consider chopping up a banana and adding a small amount of peanut butter to each one. It’ll fill you up and be fun to eat.
2Popcorn With Olive Oil And Salt
Having a few handfuls of popcorn (seasoned with light olive oil and salt) will satisfy your urge for a crunchy, salty snack, without having to eat unnecessary fats (all that butter should be avoided) or anything too heavy.
Of course, if you’re absolutely starving, popcorn might not fill your stomach. But it’s perfect for a light snack before you hop back into bed.
3Cheese And Crackers
Surprisingly enough, cheese and crackers are a great bedtime snack option. Eating a wedge of cheese (my personal faves are brie or cheddar) with some whole grain crackers will satisfy both the complex carb and the protein requirement.
Also, eating a snack like cheese and crackers might encourage you to eat a little bit slower, which is always a good thing for digestion, as eating slowly allows you to recognize when you’re full.
4A Turkey Sandwich
Throwing a few slices of white meat, like turkey or chicken, onto a wheat bread for a sandwich is a great way to fill your stomach without getting wired.
According to Lifehacker, white meat is a great nighttime option because it digests slowly, has a low insulin release (meaning you won’t have a sugar crash), and the tryptophan could do wonders for your sleepy vibes.
If you’re ever looking for easily digested food that won’t upset your stomach, an easy acronym to follow is BRAT: eating bananas, rice, applesauce, or toast are all amazing options for snacks because they’ll pass easily through your body, which is perfect for a pre-bedtime snack.
Whipping up some scrambled eggs might take a minute or two, but your stomach will thank you for it, according to Everyday Health. Scrambled eggs contain complex carbohydrates, protein, and a little bit of calcium, if you dash some milk in there.
Just make sure you hold back the hot sauce which, for me, at least, is a basic staple with eggs. Remember, spicy food or sauce is a no-no before bedtime.
7Yogurt And Granola
Looking for a creamy, tart crunch? Snacking on a bowl of yogurt and granola (and maybe some banana chunks thrown in, because yum) will fill your stomach without ruining your sleep cycle.
According to The Good Men Project, a bowl of yogurt with some granola sprinkled on top, along with a hot mug of decaffeinated tea, is a stellar midnight meal option. Just make sure you’re not using a yogurt that’s super high in grams of sugar, and opt instead for some low-fat Greek yogurt.