“Late-night eating isn’t bad at all if you choose the right foods,” says Collin Ruiz, MS, holistic nutritionist based in Fort Collins, Colorado. “It’s what you eat, rather than when you eat it.”
But, let's face it. There's going to be those times when you're traveling late at night, you're working, or you just need something in your stomach because you're not ready for bed.
She warns against 2 things:
1. Avoid foods that are hard to digest and will stimulate your body. Those are the things that will keep you awake when you should be sleeping. They include any sugary foods, refined carbs, red meat, greasy or spicy foods, caffeine, or alcohol.
2. She also recommends avoiding dairy which can be inflammatory and cause indigestion.
So, what does she suggests? Look for plant-based foods rich in potassium, vitamin B6, and magnesium . They are easier to digest and should promote sound sleep.
1. Whole grain foods like oatmeal topped with pumpkin seeds will hit the spot, and the seeds contain magnesium that will help you sleep. If you must sweeten it, choose raw honey, maple syrup, or molasses which is also loaded with vitamins, minerals, and more magnesium.
2. Bananas contain magnesium and potassium which help you sleep well. They're also natural muscle relaxers that insure a restful night.
3. She recommends a cherry or berry smoothie that's made with omega-rich hemp milk, flaxseed, cherries which contain melatonin, a sleep hormone or fresh or frozen berries.
4. Warm nut milks from almonds or cashews, as well as seed milks from hemp or flax topped with a pinch of cinnamon just might hit the spot.
5. A slice of sprouted wheat bread topped with grass-fed butter or honey is easier to digest than regular bread and will satisfy your hunger.
Try not to eat after 7 p.m., but if you must, choose foods that won't keep you up tossing and turning all night. Restful, uninterrupted sleep is necessary for the body to repair and heal.