The first rule of late-night feeding: don’t eat too much. A small snack before bed is acceptable.
Bananas are mostly made up of fast-digesting carbs. And fast digestion is definitely your goal when you’re snacking before bed, Morse says.
“Bananas are also a good source of magnesium, which helps calm stress hormones and so can promote sleep,” Morse says.
Murray agrees that bananas are a safe pick.
2. Whole Grains
Carbs eaten an hour or two before bed can help trigger the release of serotonin, melatonin, and other brain neurotransmitters that promote sleep, says Maxine Smith, a registered dietician at Cleveland Clinic.
She mentions 100-percent whole-grain crackers or bread and stovetop popcorn as healthy pre-bed carb choices.
Again, you don’t want to go nuts. The more you eat, the more likely you are to toss and turn, she says.
If your stomach’s growling, protein is a great way to satisfy it.
Eggs are a good source of protein, and also a food your stomach should be able to process fairly quickly, Murray says. He says a scrambled egg may make its way through your gut more quickly than a hard boiled one.
A 2017 study from Norway linked eating kiwi before bed with improved sleep quality among a group of insomniacs.
“Because of some of the antioxidant compounds in kiwi, including serotonin, eating it led to faster sleep onset and improved sleep quality,” Morse says.
Both she and Smith say other types of fruit, including apples and berries, are healthy carb sources that are also probably safe to eat before bed.