If you feel like you need a little something in your stomach before you turn in for the night, you're far from alone. It's a good idea to make sure your appetite is satisfied before shutting the light, as you don't want hunger pangs waking you in the middle of the night.

Eating before bedtime can be tricky. You want to have just enough to satisfy without stuffing. The key, say experts, is to choose a snack that combines protein and carbohydrates.

This is because proteins are the building blocks of the amino acid tryptophan, which induces sleep, and carbohydrates enable tryptophan to reach the brain more easily. Some top picks include:

1. Oatmeal: Most cereals provide carbs and protein, but oatmeal is the gold standard of pre-bedtime snacking. Make sure you prepare it with milk for even better nutrition.

2. Peanut butter on toast: You know that peanut butter isn't only for school lunch. This protein staple has a place at every meal, and the evening snack is no exception.

3. Turkey on a small whole-grain wrap: Turkey or chicken slices, either leftover from dinner or in the form of deli meat, are a tasty, low-calorie choice for the evening munches.

4. Cheese cubes and an apple: Savory cheese and sweet apple make for a satisfying combination with a nice variety of textures.

5. Low-fat yogurt or cottage cheese with fruit: If the ice-cream carton is calling your name, try this healthier, but still sweet and creamy, alternative.




American Dietetic Association