A good night’s sleep is essential for health, as levels of leptin, a hormone responsible for feelings of fullness, rise during sleep, and ghrelin, a hormone that sends hunger signals, decreases at bedtime. Give the body a chance to sleep.
But the thing is, the feeling of hunger at night is not without pressure, which can spoil this equation, for reasons such as: eating the last meal too soon, tension and stress, blood sugar level fluctuations or vitamin D deficiency. A certified nutritionist said. , Katherine Metzeler, Well & Good.
His colleague Michelle Reker, a certified nutritionist, pointed out the effect that “the lack of food needed to get the calories the body needs during the day, especially after an intense evening workout, can lead to increased energy expenditure and nighttime hunger.”
Fake or real hunger?
Certified nutritionist Barbara Ross told the US newspaper HuffPost, “Anxiety can wake us up in the middle of the night, and we confuse it with hunger.” In this case, he suggests drinking a cup of decaffeinated herbal tea. Calms the nerves.
To quench the flames of true hunger, Metzeler emphasizes the importance of going “no food during the day, no more than 4 to 5 hours at most,” and making sure to eat enough foods that include plenty of protein. healthy fats, vegetables, whole grains and complex carbohydrates; Keep energy levels high and feel energized and satisfied throughout the day.
Later in the night, the impact of hunger can be reduced, so many people rush to the kitchen and eat the candy, potato chips and gravy or leftover steak from lunch, which can be difficult for them. Go back to sleep and they start the next day feeling uncomfortable.This causes them health problems: weight gain.
According to the Healthline website, there is growing scientific evidence that eating too late at night can make weight control more difficult.
The right foods
According to research published in 2015, “If you’re hungry late at night, it’s okay to eat a small, nutrient-dense snack under 200 calories.”
Here are 7 examples of these foods that a panel of certified nutritionists told HuffPost, “They’re great for fighting nighttime hunger pangs while helping you get back to sleep.”
Turkey breast slices
Certified nutritionist, Marissa Mechoulam looks at; Turkey breast is “a great way to satisfy an after-midnight hunger pang, whether eaten alone or stuffed into half a sandwich.”
Turkey breast pieces are known to “help you fall asleep, relax and go back to sleep because they are rich in the amino acid (L-tryptophan), which turns into the sleep hormone (melatonin); in addition. to their protein content, it is “enough to suppress the feeling of hunger until morning. “
Fiber-rich cheese and crackers
According to Mechoulam, “any snack we choose should include protein and fiber to keep us full throughout the night”; It’s found in protein-rich cottage cheese, which contains some sleep-aiding tryptophan and fiber-rich crackers. Mechulam recommends almond flour biscuits to ensure stable blood sugar levels.
According to Healthline, “Combining carbohydrate-rich foods (such as crackers) with a good source of tryptophan (such as cheese) helps increase tryptophan’s effectiveness in supporting sleep,” and serving 4 pieces of whole wheat crackers and one piece of cheddar cheese. Low fat, about 150 calories.
A refreshing vegetable dish with hummus
It is a refreshing and crunchy vegetable dish; Like: baby carrots, cherry tomatoes, and cucumbers, with hummus, “The perfect quick and easy midnight snack,” says registered dietitian Amanda Frankini, “A couple tablespoons of hummus can be enough to provide protein, fiber, and complete satisfaction.”
Banana and peanut butter
In one study, “melatonin levels in the blood increased 4-fold within two hours of eating two bananas.”
Bananas and nuts or peanut butter can be balanced snacks to maintain balanced blood sugar, which is essential for getting good sleep.
“Bananas contain potassium, which, in addition to complex carbohydrates, controls high blood sugar that can harm sleep,” says Prangini, adding that combining bananas with peanut butter at night is a healthy and satiating source of fat and tryptophan that can induce sleep.
For Metzeler, who recommends putting almond butter and bananas on whole-wheat bread, “combines protein, carbs and fat to beat a balanced snack before bed.”
Cherry and pistachio
A number of studies conducted on sour cherries have shown that snacking on them in the middle of the night can lead to better sleep, as they naturally contain melatonin. It can be combined with pistachios, which combine fat and protein in addition to some melatonin.
Cereals and milk
As milk contains calcium, which helps the body produce melatonin, a cup of warm milk is ideal for falling asleep after waking up at night.
Low-sugar whole grains can be added to milk for a light, filling and balanced meal to help maintain blood sugar levels.
Snacks from nuts
Frankini cautions against turning to chocolate or coffee as midnight snacks; Because they keep you awake longer, walnuts, almonds, and pistachios provide natural melatonin, protein, and magnesium to help you feel full and induce sleep.
“Award-winning beer geek. Extreme coffeeaholic. Introvert. Avid travel specialist. Hipster-friendly communicator.”