Sometimes falling asleep doesn't come easy. We may be anxious about the day ahead, wound up from a particularly exciting day, lying next to someone snoring like a freight train, or just plain hungry.
If hunger's the issue, before you raid the fridge for a heaping spoonful of raw cookie dough or a few bites of cold leftover fried chicken, it's best to choose your bedtime snack wisely or you'll run the risk of packing on unwanted pounds. Yes, sadly, food consumed after 8pm does indeed have calories.
Some of the best picks are satisfying and ideal for pre-sleep snacking. The next time you need a nosh before nodding off, select a snack that will have you ready for bed with a tamed tummy.
A small bowl of juicy cherries is an ideal bedtime snack, as per Calorie Secrets. Cherries are high in melatonin, a sleep-inducing chemical. So not only will they satisfy your sweet tooth, but they'll help you drift off for a restful night's sleep. Plus, you'll get in another serving of fruit before the clock runs out. According to LiveStrong, about 10 cherries will only set you back 50 calories, so grab a cupful and enjoy!
2. String Cheese
If you're craving something a bit salty and creamy, go for a stick of string cheese. The pre-portioned approximately 80 calorie serving will prevent you from overeating, and the fat combined with protein will fill you up 'till you nod off. As per Women's Health, cheese contains tryptophan, an amino acid that's known to cause drowsiness – a perfect choice before you hit the hay.
3. Greek Yogurt
If your mind is saying sleep but your tummy is thinking ice cream or fro yo, go for something similar but far better for your waistline… rich and thick Greek Yogurt. It's high in protein and low in calories – about 100-150 cals a serving. Plus, like the cheese, Greek yogurt contains tryptophan, helping you to relax. Plus, as per Women's Health, "Yogurt can help calm your stomach, so you're less likely to wake up with heartburn or indigestion." If you want something a little sweeter, stir in a teaspoon of honey or add a bit of diced fruit. Go Greek then go to bed.
Easily digestible foods like oatmeal make for a good pre-bedtime snack choice. Stick to plain rather than the sugary flavored variety for the healthiest choice. As per Popsugar, a ¼ cup serving is under 75 calories and the serotonin found in the oats will sedate you with every spoonful. Sprinkle on some cinnamon if you're seeking some extra flavor or add a touch of milk to make it creamy. Oatmeal's not just for breakfast, though you may find yourself having another bowl when you wake up!
5. Apple with Peanut Butter
If you're seeking something with crunch and naturally sweet satisfaction, a medium-sized apple with a tablespoon of peanut butter will hit the spot before you hit the sheets. The protein in the peanut butter will satiate your grumbling belly and the crispness of the apple will make your mouth happy. Plus, apples are great for cleaning your teeth! Stick to a no sugar added PB for added health benefits. According to 12 Minute Athlete, this tempting treat is under 200 calories.