9 Midnight Snack Ideas to Help You Sleep

5 min read

Last Modified 15 September 2023 First Added 14 June 2016

By Jessica Kadel

We’ve all been there. Digging through the fridge in the early hours, hoping for some leftovers to relieve your midnight munchies. However, the ingredients you choose to snack on can heavily affect your sleep quality. Anything caffeinated, alcoholic, overly fatty, spicy or sugary could keep you up long past midnight.

So, we’ve collated a list of sleep-approved midnight snack ideas that not only settle your cravings but help you drift off to the land of nod.

1. Pan Fried Cinnamon Bananas

Bananas are great for a late-night bite because they contain the natural muscle relaxants magnesium and potassium, which promote a good night’s rest. They are also a natural source of melatonin, a hormone released from the pineal gland which induces sleepiness. Combining bananas with cinnamon is beneficial because cinnamon helps balance blood sugar levels so that hormones can function and you can quickly doze off.

Simply slice up a couple of bananas, place in a bowl and combine 2 tablespoons of sugar, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and a quarter teaspoon of nutmeg. Fry together in a large pan with olive oil for roughly 3 minutes on each side until the bananas are warm and soft.

2. Turkey and Brie Sandwich

If you’ve ever felt drowsy after Christmas dinner, it could be due to the mass amount you’ve digested or the sleep-inducing qualities of turkey. Like milk, turkey contains tryptophan that can help you doze off. In addition to this, the British Cheese Study claims cheese commonly creates positive dreams. After testing cheese-eating sleepers, most claimed positive results from consuming cheese before sleeping. For an extra tasty turkey and brie sandwich, toast the bread and add a little apple jam to one of the slices for flavour.

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3. Cereal

High-fibre cereals, such as All-Bran, Ready Brek, or Shredded Wheat, contain what the experts call good and complex carbs that will steady your blood sugar levels. Even better, the accompanying milk has sleep-promoting powers as it contains the amino acid tryptophan, which induces a sleepy sensation. Although you may be peckish, resist the temptation to have a considerable portion and opt for half a bowl of cereal to leave you feeling satisfied without struggling to digest.

4. Sweet Potato Chips

Sweet potatoes also seem to have magical qualities when it comes to sleep. They possess sleep-promoting complex carbohydrates and count towards one of our five a day, and they also contain the muscle relaxant potassium.

For this healthy alternative to chips, wash, peel and cut a couple of sweet potatoes into chip sizes. Season with salt, pepper and a little paprika and then once drizzled with olive oil, oven-bake for roughly 35 minutes.

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5. Cherry Yoghurt

Like bananas, cherries are one of the few natural foods to contain melatonin; consequently, they help you drift off.  One scientific study shows that drinking tart cherry juice right before bed helps insomniac adults fall asleep.

To make this dreamy dessert, just blend a pack of frozen cherries until relatively smooth and add one tablespoon of sugar, a quarter teaspoon of almond extract and roughly a cup of low-fat yoghurt.

Midnight Snack Ideas for the Hungry Romantic

From strawberries to heart-shaped treats, there are many dreamy dishes you and your partner can make that can help you drift off to sleep. So, if you plan on having a romantic night in, here are a few midnight snacks to help you and your loved one connect.

6. Strawberries

First and foremost are strawberries, which don’t involve a recipe or any fuss, so they are perfect for a quick snack before bed. Strawberries seem to be the go-to romantic food when it comes to one on one time. Not only are they good for you, with their many vitamins and antioxidants, but they also have sleep-inducing qualities. They contain the vitamin B6, which helps create melatonin, a sleep-inducing hormone that will help you quickly drift off. Although chocolate is not a recommended sleep food, chocolate-covered strawberries certainly add a sense of romance to the evening.

7. Fondue

Although a cheese fondue with some bread isn’t the healthiest of snacks, it’s a pretty tasty bedtime treat to share with your loved one. On top of that, cheese can give you sweet dreams, as we mentioned earlier.

Rub the inside of a fondue pot with a garlic clove for a tasty fondue for two. Add a splash of white wine and lemon juice and heat until boiling. Then gradually stir in the grated cheese of your choosing and a little water if the mixture becomes too thick. According to the cheese study, different cheeses cause different dreams, so choose your cheese wisely.

8. Oysters

A well-known aphrodisiac, oysters had to be mentioned. Oysters are a romantic food containing zinc, magnesium, iron and vitamin B11, which, when combined, can help you drift off. It’s also recommended to only eat oysters in months including the letter ‘r’. Therefore, February is ideal. So don’t hesitate to share some oysters with your partner on Valentine’s Day, and have a good night’s sleep.

9. Chocolate

Last but not least on this list is chocolate. We’ve written countless articles about how chocolate is terrible for your sleep, and the National Sleep Foundation recommends avoiding chocolate and caffeine before bed. However, there’s no denying chocolate is one of the most romantic foods and, if chosen wisely, does not have to inhibit your sleep.

If you need your fill of chocolate before bed, white chocolate contains very little caffeine compared to its darker counterparts. According to Organic Authority, chocolate lights up the same pleasure centre in your brain as sex, and the endorphins released will undoubtedly put you in a good mood before bed.

What foods to avoid for better sleep

Now we’ve covered what you should eat to help you sleep; let’s discuss what you should avoid!

If you’re hoping to sleep easy, try to avoid the following foods:

  • Curry
  • Tomatoes (if you suffer from acid reflux and heartburn – tomatoes before bed are not your friend!)
  • High sugar foods
  • High fatty foods

What’s your favourite midnight snack to make?

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