What you eat and when you eat it plays a critical role in your sleep at night. Bedtime snacks that look more like a second dinner, or quick (but less healthy) options may be the culprits of some of your sleep disruptions.

We recommend that our adult clients eat dinner about 4 hours before bedtime. However, if you’re hungry for a little something more to eat before bed, you’re in luck! We’ve come up with a list of go-to, easy, bedtime snack options that are healthy, satisfying, and supportive of restorative sleep.

Cherry-Banana Smoothie

Cherries are a great natural source of melatonin, and bananas are loaded with potassium and magnesium, which are natural muscle relaxants. If you’re vegan, you can use almond milk as your base. Almond milk has little to no sugar and is recommended over a juice base, which may cause a spike in blood sugar.

Greek Yogurt with Berries

Full fat Greek yogurt will help keep you feeling fuller longer. It can even be a great addition to the smoothie mentioned above. Unsweetened fruit, such as berries, are a perfect way to flavor the yogurt without added sugars.

Yogurt promotes sleep because the calcium in dairy helps the brain use the amino acid, tryptophan to make sleep-inducing melatonin. It is also packed with important nutrients, including B-12, potassium, and probiotics, offering many health and digestive benefits.

Small Turkey Sandwich

It’s no mystery that turkey can make you feel sleepy, so why not try it as a bedtime snack? Tryptophan produces serotonin and melatonin when consumed, both of which aid in sleep. Low sodium sliced turkey breast on whole grain bread or with whole grain crackers will help regulate blood sugar levels and keep hunger at bay.

Oatmeal with Dark Chocolate Crumbles

Oatmeal is another complex carbohydrate that will leave you satiated until morning. In addition, it’s a good source of melatonin. For another boost of tryptophan to improve sleep quality, crumble a square of dark chocolate to sprinkle over the top.

A Handful of Nuts

Almonds are a great source of protein that will fulfill hunger. They are also a rich source of magnesium. Pistachios contain the highest amount of melatonin of all nuts, so they can be a perfect bedtime snack.

Pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds contain tryptophan as well. Sprinkling pumpkin seeds on your oats or yogurt is a healthy way to achieve a crunchy texture. Further, cashews have high levels of potassium and magnesium, and walnuts synthesize serotonin.

Assorted nuts are high protein, high fat options, allowing the body to stabilize blood sugar throughout the night and eliminating the need for the release of cortisol.

Chia Seed Pudding 

This bedtime snack is another option of a healthy fat. It combines amino acids that raise melatonin and serotonin levels with Omega-3 fatty acids, all of which have great sleep benefits.


Eggs are an excellent source of tryptophan, melatonin, and vitamin D. They are also a fantastic way to add in a large serving of protein (one egg offers six grams of protein!) to regulate blood sugar through the night. An egg can be prepared in a variety of ways, and the stomach is able to digest it quickly.

Chamomile Tea

If you’re looking for something that requires less prep than what we’ve suggested, no problem. A cup of chamomile tea in place of or even paired with a bedtime snack promotes feelings of relaxation and calm, which aid in restful sleep.

Healthy Eats & Healthy Sleep

It is no secret that eating and sleeping directly impacts each other. While any of these snacks will support healthy sleep, aim to eat them an hour or two before bed so your body has time to digest. We want the body to do important work overnight: repair, detox, and rest, rather than focus on digesting a late night snack.

If these options don’t appeal to you, keep in mind that your bedtime snack of choice should have healthy fats, complex carbohydrates, and protein to help keep you full until morning. Rest well!

By Katie Pitts, Founder & CEO of Sleep Wise Consulting