Eight Foods You Can Eat Before Bed to Help You Sleep

Updated on November 22, 2017

Do you ever crave a little something to eat before bed? If you’re like most people, the answer is yes. It's not uncommon to want a little comfort food while watching a television show or late night movie before bedtime.

Eating some food before we go to sleep can make us feel full and comforted. Yet many of the foods we snack on in the evenings are difficult to digest and can actually prevent us from getting a good night's sleep.

What to Eat Before Bed?

As a general rule, we should avoid eating anything less than 3 hours before bedtime. However, if you feel hungry before going to bed, then chances are you shouldn’t ignore your hunger pangs. Your next meal won’t be coming along for another 7 or 8 hours, and you don’t want to wake up in the middle of the night feeling hungry.

So what are the best foods to eat before hitting the hay?

Ideally, you shouldn’t snack on anything with a high calorie content, nor anything with too much sugar. During sleep, the body does not burn off many calories, so high-calorie foods are more likely to be stored as fat and sugary foods can keep you awake well into the night.

Instead, look for a small low-calorie, low-sugar snack that will satisfy your craving that won't disrupt a body that is about to shut off for the night. Here are a few ideas for an ideal bedtime snack that you won’t regret eating:

Foods That Help You Sleep

  1. Oatmeal and Honey: A nice bowl of warm oatmeal can have a calming effect on the nervous system. Oats are rich in calcium, phosphorus, potassium, silicon, and magnesium, which are all important for supporting sleep. Honey contains a natural compound called “orexin” that is said to help prepare the brain for sleep, making it an excellent alternative to sugar.
  2. Tuna: Because tuna is high in protein it makes a great candidate for a bedtime snack that will slowly digest overnight. Low in calories and sugar, a can of tuna will keep your alertness at a minimum for a restful night of sleep.
  3. Cottage Cheese: A dairy product that is high in protein and can be digested slowly. Consider adding a few fresh berries for some natural sweetness and added nutrients.
  4. High Fibre Cereal and Milk: Whole grain cereals contain complex carbohydrates that are satisfying and boost serotonin to promote calm relaxation. The fibre in the cereal will be digested slowly through the night. The milk contains tryptophan which works as amino acid to help keep you calm.
  5. Hard Boiled Egg: Eggs are high in protein and provide a satisfying snack that is slowly digested and will help you sleep through the night. Consider eating your egg with a small slice of flax bread. Flax contains omega-3 to improve brain function, while the bread provides the complex carbohydrates to boost serotonin.
  6. Banana: As a natural low-fat and high-fibre food, bananas are said to stabilize serotonin and melatonin, aiding relaxation and promoting a sound sleep. The magnesium and potassium elements in a banana can also help relax tired or overworked muscles.
  7. Cherries: Naturally boosting the body’s supply of melatonin, these little red treasures will help slow you down before bedtime, relaxing and calming the mind. While fresh cherries are the optimum choice, cherry-juice or frozen cherries also contain the same soothing properties.
  8. Almonds: If you’re really hungry then eating a small handful of natural almonds will quickly tame your appetite as well as provide your body with "good fats." Containing lots of magnesium, almonds also help to make you fall asleep quickly and are great for protecting your heart.

The next time you reach for the fridge for a bedtime snack, think about the effect your snack will have on your body. Paying attention to the foods you eat before bed will greatly enhance your well being and help you get the good night’s sleep you need.

Sleep-Friendly Foods in the News

Questions & Answers

    © 2011 Cloverleaf

    What foods do you eat before bed?

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      • Kristen Howe profile image

        Kristen Howe 

        10 months ago from Northeast Ohio

        This is a great list of healthy foods to eat before bed. I might keep this list handy for future snacking every night. Good reads!

      • profile image

        Naveen 

        4 years ago

        Hope it will help...

      • profile image

        humming bird 

        5 years ago

        hi clover bird'''' i luv your comment i too have a problem of sleeping at night i eat a lot of calories ; but i have considered eating a healthy habit. it is really important.

      • webrevolve profile image

        webrevolve 

        5 years ago from Liverpool

        You don't have any snoring remedies by any chance do you Cloverleaf? :p

      • Free2writ3 profile image

        Free2writ3 

        6 years ago from Sharon Hill, Pennsylvania

        Great hub..thanks for the info

      • suzettenaples profile image

        Suzette Walker 

        6 years ago from Taos, NM

        Great hub and advice. I eat some of the foods you mention- cottage cheese , almonds , tuna , hard boiled eggs and they really are great because they don't put on the pounds. Very enjoyable read! Thanks for sharing!

      • subscribing profile image

        subscribing 

        6 years ago

        Nice hub! I really have also considered eating healthier with time as well. It is very important.

      • Cloverleaf profile imageAUTHOR

        Cloverleaf 

        6 years ago from Calgary, AB, Canada

        Hi Rob, I have to say that bananas and oatmeal is one of my very favourite snacks at any time of the day. And I'm inclined to pour honey on most things because it's so yummy and good for us! The fiber element is very important too. Take care!

        Hi MissOlive, I appreciate the comment and bookmark. You're so good to me! This is actually my most popular hub out of all 95 published so far. I'll be doing a "foods for energy" hub as part of the March contest and challenge, too!

        Hi Dipsmi, I think you'll be sleeping like a baby tonight after buying all the right foods. Good for you!

        Hi rasta1, your feedback was great, thank you. There's a lot to be said for a good night's sleep, isn't there?

        Carldavies1234, hopefully it's just a very fast metabolism!!! LOL.

      • carldavies1234 profile image

        carldavies1234 

        6 years ago from manchester

        Some good tips. I'm always hungry before bed time. (I think i've got worms) lol...

        ~Carl

      • rlaha profile image

        rlaha 

        6 years ago from Spartanburg, SC

        These foods are also great snacks throughout the day! Thank you so much for sharing! Voted up, interesting, useful and shared.

      • rasta1 profile image

        Marvin Parke 

        6 years ago from Jamaica

        These foods do help to calm nerves. I would not suggest that the body should be digesting food while your sleeping(slow digesting foods are not ideal). Its best to have a empty stomach to fall asleep. Good hub.

      • dipsmi profile image

        dipsmi 

        6 years ago from Plymouth, Minnisota

        bananas, cherries and almonds purchased today after reading the hub!!!! Thank you so much :)

      • missolive profile image

        Marisa Hammond Olivares 

        6 years ago from Texas

        Excellent hub Cloverleaf! I'm a fan of 'healthy tips and hubs" this one is going into my healthy hub bookmark file. The banana, honey and oatmeal mix in your comment above sounds perfect! yum!

        Great choices and reasons.

        Thank you for sharing this info - voted up, across and sharing!

      • rob_allen profile image

        rob_allen 

        6 years ago from MNL, PH

        Great and useful list. I love bananas mixed with oatmeal and honey. Light, healthy and rich in fiber! :)

      • FordeAhern profile image

        FordeAhern 

        6 years ago from Broadford, Co. Limerick. ireland

        Hi there, your hub is great, I love Bananas and love to have one before bedtime. thank you for all the tips. voted up and useful.

      • Cloverleaf profile imageAUTHOR

        Cloverleaf 

        6 years ago from Calgary, AB, Canada

        Hi DeviousOne, getting home late is a difficult situation and one that I have faced myself on many occasion and so I try to eat as light as supper as possible. In my opinion, it's better to eat something than to go hungry, regardless of metabolism or body type. I have a friend who works out at the gym regularly after work and then comes home and eats a big meal before bed. Not surprisingly, he doesn't usually sleep very well. Even though he has a fast metabolism, I would say that he would be better off eating a good, well rounded and hearty lunch to sustain him through the afternoon, and then eat lighter in the evening. Thanks for posting such a great question.

      • DeviousOne profile image

        DeviousOne 

        6 years ago from Sydney, Australia

        That's pretty interesting. Some good tips there. I think the hardest thing for me is having dinner at the right time and the right amount of food. Leaving work at 5.30pm, getting home at 7pm and then sleeping about 10pm. In your opinion, would those tips apply to all body types with a fast and slow metabolism?

      • Deborah Brooks profile image

        Deborah Brooks Langford 

        6 years ago from Brownsville,TX

        wow thanks for these tips.. I will definitely use them.

        nice to meet you

        Debbie

      • wmhseo profile image

        wmhseo 

        6 years ago from Canada

        One of food that I eat before going to bed is an oatmeal.

      • gregoriom profile image

        Deninson Mota 

        6 years ago from East Elmhurst, NY

        These are a great choice.

      • Anamika S profile image

        Anamika S Jain 

        6 years ago from Mumbai - Maharashtra, India

        Good list! I feel hungry mostly as I eat my dinner at 7 in the evening but go to bed only after 2 AM. I often end up eating fruits, popcorn or having juice to control my hunger.

      • the-remedy profile image

        the-remedy 

        6 years ago from Houston

        Thanks for these very useful tips. I'm always hungry before bed and now I think my snack of choice will be almonds or tuna...instead of ice cream and chips. lol Loved it, thanks!

      • homesteadbound profile image

        Cindy Murdoch 

        6 years ago from Texas

        I am always looking for things to help me fall asleep. I think I would enjoy several of these. Great hub. Voting across!

      • Victoria Lynn profile image

        Victoria Lynn 

        6 years ago from Arkansas, USA

        Wow--interesting hub. Helpful to many people. Many votes on this one!!!!

      • Kristine Manley profile image

        Donna Kristine 

        6 years ago from Atlanta, GA

        I like the oatmeal and honey.

      • AudreyHowitt profile image

        Audrey Howitt 

        6 years ago from California

        This all sounds much better than my usual popcorn--

      • Alecia Murphy profile image

        Alecia Murphy 

        6 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

        I like how you help explain what it supplies to our bodies as well as the fact these are healthy and affordable foods to add to our pantry. Thank you for the information.

      • AllSuretyBonds profile image

        AllSuretyBonds 

        6 years ago

        After reading this I want to go get a snack. All your suggestions sound so good. Thanks for the tips.

      • Cloverleaf profile imageAUTHOR

        Cloverleaf 

        6 years ago from Calgary, AB, Canada

        Hi Mariazeyn,

        That's awesome, thank you! I added a link to your "10 Strategies to Wake Up Early and Stay Fresh" into my related hubs above. Now we can sleep well AND get up early the next day :-)

        Cloverleaf.

      • Cloverleaf profile imageAUTHOR

        Cloverleaf 

        6 years ago from Calgary, AB, Canada

        Hi Pamela,

        That's great - thanks for commenting!

        Cloverleaf.

      • Cloverleaf profile imageAUTHOR

        Cloverleaf 

        6 years ago from Calgary, AB, Canada

        Hi BeautyFeather,

        You suggested some really helpful meditation techniques that compliment eating healthy food before bedtime. Slowing down breathing and meditating will certainly help to keep me calm before going to sleep. I was just reading your hub about ear massage - fascinating! Thanks for your comment.

        Cloverleaf.

      • mariazeyn profile image

        mariazeyn 

        6 years ago from Ontario

        Really useful hub Cloverleaf! I am not usually hungry late night but when I am I find bananas really fill me up and I am less inclined to munch junk food. Ooh, a glass of milk also helps!

      • Pamela99 profile image

        Pamela Oglesby 

        6 years ago from Sunny Florida

        Excellent information. I never eat right before bed but it is good to have some healthy choices.

      • Beautyfeather profile image

        Beautyfeather 

        6 years ago from Shanghai China

        Very useful! like the content and photos you describe.From my view, banana and almond among the foods your recommended are not so appropriate for eating before bed, for banana could promote gastrointestinal motility and defecation, which could disrupt sleeping, while almond relatively high calorie. and I think yoghourt is the best.But there is another question, it is good for you to prefer healthy food to avoid the negative side of eating before bed,you will get it as habit, and your brain will get used to it.The solution is that you can transfer your eating mind to meditation, sitting on the bed cross-legged, concentration you mind and have an abdominal breathing......then the idea of eating could be drived away, and you could sleep well.

      • Cloverleaf profile imageAUTHOR

        Cloverleaf 

        6 years ago from Calgary, AB, Canada

        Hello Miss Paula,

        Thanks for coming by to comment, I just read one of your own hubs and enjoyed it thoroughly - it's very nice to meet you here :-)

        Cloverleaf.

      • Cloverleaf profile imageAUTHOR

        Cloverleaf 

        6 years ago from Calgary, AB, Canada

        Sleep tight, injured lamb, thanks for your kind comment!

        Cloverleaf.

      • Miss Paula profile image

        Miss Paula 

        6 years ago

        Very useful information. I will have try one these the next time I'm hungry at bed time.

        GOD BLESS!!!!!!

      • Injured lamb profile image

        Injured lamb 

        6 years ago

        Bananas...cherries...almonds...oh okay, enough for me before bed...thanks again Cloverleaf for a good job done...

      • Cloverleaf profile imageAUTHOR

        Cloverleaf 

        6 years ago from Calgary, AB, Canada

        Hi John,

        I like your idea of eating a big lunch. That way we aren't tempted to eat too much at night. Thanks for leaving a really great comment, I appreciate it!

        Cloverleaf.

      • John Sarkis profile image

        John Sarkis 

        6 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

        Thanks for sharing. If I ate a really big lunch, then I just like to drink something at night, so instead of eating anything after I come home from the gym, I'll just zip down a coke....

        Take care

        John

      • Cloverleaf profile imageAUTHOR

        Cloverleaf 

        6 years ago from Calgary, AB, Canada

        LOL @ Sunshine. That's OK, I just ate a handful of peanuts so I'm a bad girl too! I should have opted for the almonds. Still, it's only 7pm so it will be a few hours before bedtime. Enjoy your poptart!

        Cloverleaf.

      • Sunshine625 profile image

        Linda Bilyeu 

        6 years ago from Orlando, FL

        I'm eating a poptart ... I'm a bad girl but it's yummy! :)

      • Cloverleaf profile imageAUTHOR

        Cloverleaf 

        6 years ago from Calgary, AB, Canada

        Hi midnightbliss

        Thanks for your comment and sleep well tonight :-)

        Cloverleaf.

      • midnightbliss profile image

        Haydee Anderson 

        6 years ago from Hermosa Beach

        nice hub and useful tips on proper food choices for better sleep. banana, milk and honey sounds good to me. yum.

      • Cloverleaf profile imageAUTHOR

        Cloverleaf 

        6 years ago from Calgary, AB, Canada

        You're welcome, LULU SUE! :-)

      • Cloverleaf profile imageAUTHOR

        Cloverleaf 

        6 years ago from Calgary, AB, Canada

        Nice to see you again Kamran! Eating foods that are easy to digest are much better than going to bed on an empty stomach so I hope you find something in the list that works for you. Thanks for the vote up, too :-)

        Cloverleaf.

      • Cloverleaf profile imageAUTHOR

        Cloverleaf 

        6 years ago from Calgary, AB, Canada

        Nice to see you again Kamran! Eating foods that are easy to digest are much better than going to bed on an empty stomach so I hope you find something in the list that works for you. Thanks for the vote up, too :-)

        Cloverleaf.

      • LULU SUE1987 profile image

        LULU SUE1987 

        6 years ago

        Great recommendations, thanks.

      • Kamran! profile image

        Kamran! 

        6 years ago

        wow..very useful information, i will try make habit to eat those thing before bed,,vote up! nice stuff

      • Cloverleaf profile imageAUTHOR

        Cloverleaf 

        6 years ago from Calgary, AB, Canada

        Hi naturalsolutions,

        I'm happy this helped you to find some nutritious bedtime snacks. Thank you for taking the time to stop by and comment.

        Cloverleaf.

      • profile image

        naturalsolutions 

        6 years ago

        I always eat before i go to my bed but it is mostly a no nutrition benefits foods. Thanks for your hub now i know what to eat during bedtimes.

      • Cloverleaf profile imageAUTHOR

        Cloverleaf 

        6 years ago from Calgary, AB, Canada

        Rtalloni, thanks for the vote up! A few cherries before bedtime really helps to settle me down for the night, sort of a comfort food that's good for you. I appreciate your kind comments.

        Tarrka, Yes so important for anyone watching their blood sugar! Sleep soundly and thanks for your vote :-)

        Hi blessingsforlife, I really like your idea of sesame seeds and raisins. Much better than trying to sleep on an empty stomach! Have a great day.

        Pinkish, I hope you find some options here that will help you to fall asleep better, cherries are very comforting and always work well for me.

        Thanks for all your comments,

        Cloverleaf

      • blessingsforlife profile image

        blessingsforlife 

        6 years ago

        Voted up and found useful!

      • blessingsforlife profile image

        blessingsforlife 

        6 years ago

        I definitely cannot sleep when my stomach is empty. I have to choose carefully the food I eat before bedtime because I could develop acid reflux, so I avoid acidic foods. Warm oatmeal, a little milk, sesame seeds, raisins and brown sugar is my favorite.

        But if I am too tired and sleepy to eat, I would just chew 2 tablets of goats milk and I'm off to bed.

      • tarrka1089 profile image

        tarrka1089 

        6 years ago from Ohio

        All goods options that also won't raise my blood sugar! [voted up and useful]

      • RTalloni profile image

        RTalloni 

        6 years ago from the short journey

        So informative, helpful--full of important guidelines but in a concise, direct format. This hub is also generating great comments. Thanks much!

        Voted up and bookmarked.

      • Cloverleaf profile imageAUTHOR

        Cloverleaf 

        7 years ago from Calgary, AB, Canada

        chamilj, you're welcome and thanks for stopping by to comment.

      • Cloverleaf profile imageAUTHOR

        Cloverleaf 

        7 years ago from Calgary, AB, Canada

        PegCole, how good of you to visit and comment! I hope you enjoy eating your cherries and have a sound sleep tonight :-)

      • chamilj profile image

        chamilj 

        7 years ago from Sri Lanka

        Great hub with useful instructions on Bedtime Foods. Thanks!

      • PegCole17 profile image

        Peg Cole 

        7 years ago from Dallas, Texas

        The cherries sound really yummy. I had no idea they were a natural remedy for insomnia. Will give this a try. What is strange is that for the first time in a long long time I bought fresh cherries yesterday at the store before I read this great hub. hmmm.

      • Cloverleaf profile imageAUTHOR

        Cloverleaf 

        7 years ago from Calgary, AB, Canada

        Super-foods, I think natural yoghurt with almonds and honey would give you a little bit of everything good!!! Thanks for commenting.

      • Cloverleaf profile imageAUTHOR

        Cloverleaf 

        7 years ago from Calgary, AB, Canada

        Sunshine, thanks for the awesome comment and vote up, I'm so glad you stopped by!

      • Sunshine625 profile image

        Linda Bilyeu 

        7 years ago from Orlando, FL

        Fantastic hub! Very detailed and informative! Late night snacks can cause more harm than good. Great choices of snacks. I'm for the banana or a cheese stick. UP/Awesome!

      • super-foods profile image

        super-foods 

        7 years ago

        Oatmeal and honey is my favourite. Sometimes I have some natural yoghurt with sliced almonds and honey. Thanks for the great hub.

      • Cloverleaf profile imageAUTHOR

        Cloverleaf 

        7 years ago from Calgary, AB, Canada

        Thanks greatlove, and I appreciate the vote up!

      • greatlove profile image

        greatlove 

        7 years ago from Beaufort, NC

        Great information....enjoyed your hub. voted up!

      • Cloverleaf profile imageAUTHOR

        Cloverleaf 

        7 years ago from Calgary, AB, Canada

        Hi caramellatte, eating oatmeal and honey is so comforting isn't it? :-)

      • caramellatte profile image

        caramellatte 

        7 years ago

        I like this hub. I eat all the foods listed except cottage cheese. The texture doesn't do a thing for me. Oatmeal and honey works; I tried it one night and I was so sleepy after wards.

      • Cloverleaf profile imageAUTHOR

        Cloverleaf 

        7 years ago from Calgary, AB, Canada

        Hi Susie, you made me chuckle! Hope you enjoy your banana :-)

      • profile image

        SusieQ42 

        7 years ago

        Great hub with lots of useful info. Think I'll go have a banana!

      • Cloverleaf profile imageAUTHOR

        Cloverleaf 

        7 years ago from Calgary, AB, Canada

        Hi Hyphenbird, thanks for your comment, hope you're having a great day.

      • Cloverleaf profile imageAUTHOR

        Cloverleaf 

        7 years ago from Calgary, AB, Canada

        Movie Master, I can't believe how much you and I are alike! It's like we're related or something ;-)

      • Cloverleaf profile imageAUTHOR

        Cloverleaf 

        7 years ago from Calgary, AB, Canada

        Hi moonlake, I love your suggestion of eating a yoghurt to calm the stomach. Low-Fat Activia is my absolute favourite.

      • Hyphenbird profile image

        Brenda Barnes 

        7 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

        Great ideas. Thank you so much. Hyph

      • Movie Master profile image

        Movie Master 

        7 years ago from United Kingdom

        Hi Cloverleaf, if I eat too much late at night I don't sleep and if I go to bed hungary I don't sleep!

        Thank you for your suggestions on finding the right snack for a good night's sleep and it's all things I like:-)

        Great hub and voted up.

      • moonlake profile image

        moonlake 

        7 years ago from America

        I'm up late and usually don't eat at night but do find myself getting cravings once in awhile. Most of the time I eat a cheese stick and have some water. Sometimes a yogurt helps calm my stomach.

        Good hub.

      • Cloverleaf profile imageAUTHOR

        Cloverleaf 

        7 years ago from Calgary, AB, Canada

        Hi Tranquilheart, you're absolutely right it's no fun trying to sleep on an empty stomach. I tend to get quite irritable when I'm hungry :-)

      • Tranquilheart profile image

        Tranquilheart 

        7 years ago from Canada

        Hey ... a hub I can relate to! I usually eat warm oatmeal, cornflakes or Cheerios with milk or soft boiled egg. Some people say it's not good to eat before bedtime but sometimes you just have to, can't sleep on an empty tummy, right? Good suggestions.

      • Cloverleaf profile imageAUTHOR

        Cloverleaf 

        7 years ago from Calgary, AB, Canada

        @Lyricallo, thank you for stopping by and commenting!

        @thougtforce, overeating before bedtime used to prevent me from getting a good night sleep but I found that eating healthy foods and getting the balance right is key. Sleep well tonight!

      • thougtforce profile image

        Christina Lornemark 

        7 years ago from Sweden

        I often feel hungry before going to bed so this hub is very useful! I usually go to bed hungry or end up eating too much:) I will try your suggestions instead. Great hub since it was easy to read and so well put together.

        Thanks

      • Lyricallor profile image

        Lorna Lorraine 

        7 years ago from Croydon

        very useful hub with good explanations!

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