Contrary to popular belief, eating a late-night snack will not necessarily lead to weight gain—it’s whether your pre-bedtime treat puts your daily calorie intake over the number of calories burned that’s the determining factor. However, satisfying your nighttime cravings could potentially disturb your sleep, so you want to be thoughtful about what you consume before bedtime. Here, the health-minded experts from Charlotte, North Carolina-based Hilliard Studio Method share three foods that will help you fall asleep…and the one pre-sleep indulgence that you should avoid.
Pre-sleep snack #1: Pistachios. A source of magnesium, which has been linked to promoting better sleep, and protein, these nuts are the perfect way to end your day. Since popping pistachios can be addictive, be sure to stick to just a handful to keep your caloric intake down.
Pre-sleep snack #2: Cherries. Those who gravitate toward something sweet in the late evening are in luck: cherries are one of the few natural foods to contain melatonin, a chemical known for regulating our bodies’ internal clocks.
Pre-sleep snack #3: Almonds. Containing magnesium and tryptophan, which both have sleep-inducing properties, almonds are an ideal snack for when you’re getting ready for slumber. Again, keep your serving size to a small handful to avoid overdoing it.
What to avoid: Alcohol. While it can help you fall asleep more quickly, if consumed too close to bedtime, your nightly glass of wine can negatively impact your sleep cycles. So be sure to stop sipping at least three hours before turning in.