These are the 15 best healthy late-night snacks.

It’s dark outside, and your stomach is grumbling.

It isn’t easy to find healthy, quick and tasty foods that won’t make you gain weight.

Increasing scientific evidence supports the idea that weight control may be made more difficult by eating too late at night.

A small, nutritious snack of fewer than 200 calories can be acceptable if you are truly hungry.

Even some snacks contain compounds that can help you sleep better.

These are 15 healthy and delicious late-night snacks.

Tart Cherries

You might consider adding tart cherries such as Montmorency to your late-night snacks or even their juice.

Some studies have shown that these herbs may improve your sleep quality. They may also have anti-inflammatory properties and protect against inflammation-related conditions like arthritis and heart disease.

A recent study found that a small number of older women who have insomnia consumed 8 ounces (240ml) of 100% cherry juice at breakfast and one hour before bed.

Two weeks later, a sleep test on the spot showed that cherry juice drinkers slept almost one and a quarter hours longer at night than those who drank the placebo.

Tart cherries are rich in melatonin’s sleep-promoting hormone, but it is very limited.

They also contain the phytochemical Procyanidin B-2. This protects the amino acid Tryptophan in your body and can be used to make melatonin.

An 8-ounce (240ml) glass with 100% tart cherry juice or one-third cup (30 grams) of dried tart cherries has around 140 calories.

Banana with Almond Butter

A small banana with a tablespoon (16g) of unsweetened almond milk is a delicious, 165-calorie combination that can help you fall asleep.

A study of healthy men showed a 4-fold increase in blood melatonin levels after eating just two bananas.

Bananas are one of the few fruits with a high level of serotonin. Some of this is converted to melatonin by the body.

Almond butter and Almonds provide melatonin. They are also rich in healthy fats, vitamin E, and magnesium.

Magnesium may be linked to good sleep because it can support the body’s production of melatonin.


This sweet-tart, fuzzy-skinned fruit is healthy and figure-friendly.

Two peeled kiwis contain only 93 calories, 5g of fiber, and 190% of the daily recommended intake (RDI).

Additionally, kiwis can help you to sleep better.

The fruit was tested in a study of 24 adults with sleep problems. Each night, participants ate two kiwis an hour before going to bed. Participants used sleep diaries and a wristwatch to monitor them to track sleep.

People noticed a 35% reduction in the time taken to fall asleep after a month. They also slept 13% longer and 5% better.

One of the few fruits that contain a high amount of the nerve messenger, serotonin, is kiwis. This neurotransmitter has a relaxing effect that can help you fall asleep quicker. Serotonin can also curb your cravings for carbs.

Although more research is needed to confirm the sleep benefits, there are many other reasons to enjoy this fruit.


Pistachios are a standout among other nuts because of their high levels of sleep-promoting melatonin.

Although all plant foods contain this substance naturally, pistachios are the only one that does.

Shelled pistachios are about one-quarter of an ounce (28g) and contain 160 calories. They also have about 6.5mg of melatonin.

Comparatively, the recommended amount of melatonin to help sleep is 0.5-5mg.

Protein Smoothie

A protein-rich snack is a good way to support muscle repair and slow down aging, especially if you are a regular exerciser.

Smoothies are a great way to get protein-rich milk quickly and deliciously before you go to bed.

Blend 8 ounces (240ml) of low-fat milk and 2/3 cups (110g) frozen pineapple to make a tropical treat that is only 160 calories.

Furthermore, milk is high in Tryptophan. This amino acid is used by the body to produce serotonin and melatonin, which are important for sleep.

Pineapple can also increase melatonin levels.

Goji Berries

These sweet-tart berries hint at their high content of antioxidants, including carotenoids.

Goji berries contain a little bit of melatonin which can help you sleep.

Participants drank four ounces (120ml) of either goji berry juice or placebo in a preliminary two-week study.

Over 80% of participants in the goji berry group reported better sleep quality. About 70% reported that it was easier to get up each morning, while 50% reported feeling less tired. The placebo group did not report any such benefits.

These sleep benefits will require more thorough and larger studies, but goji berries can be a healthy snack rich in nutrients.

One hundred fifty calories are found in one-fourth of a cup (40g) of dried Goji Berries. They can be eaten like raisins or added to cereal or trail mix.

Crackers and Cheese

Consistent blood sugar levels can be maintained by eating snacks that provide balanced carbohydrates and protein, such as whole-grain crackers or cheese.

Combining a carb-rich food such as crackers with a good source of Tryptophan like cheese can help your brain get more Tryptophan.

The compound can also produce serotonin or melatonin, which are both known to aid in sleep.

Around 150 calories are contained in a serving of four whole-wheat crackers (16g) and one stick of reduced-fat cheddar cheese (28.5g).

Hot Cereal

Hot cereal is not just for breakfast. Hot cereal is also great for nighttime relaxation.

Oatmeal is a good source of fiber. They are generally healthier than colder, refined products.

You can also experiment with different cooked barley and whole-grain rice combinations to make hot cereal. Add milk, toppings such as cinnamon, nuts, or dried fruit.

Whole grains that need longer cooking can be prepared in advance and stored in the fridge for a few hours. Add a little water to the grains and heat them when you are ready for a late-night snack.

Oats, barley, and rice, especially black or red, are all-natural sources of melatonin, which will satisfy your hunger.

A three-quarter cup (or 175g) of cooked oatmeal with water contains 124 calories. It adds 27 calories by adding 1 tablespoon (9g) raisins.

Trail Mix

Trail mix can be purchased pre-made, or you can purchase the ingredients and make your own.

These are healthy options. Nuts, dried fruits and seeds are all good choices. Mix the ingredients and portion out about one-fourth of it (38 grams) into small bags or reusable tubs.

Trail mix ingredients can be calorie-dense, so it is important to limit your portions. Trail mix contains an average of 173 calories per cup (38g)

Certain trail mix ingredients may provide healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals, but they can also support sleep.

Walnuts, sunflower seeds, and dried cranberries are all known for their high melatonin levels.


Yogurt is a great source of calcium. This mineral is well-known for its ability to keep your bones strong. However, it has recently been linked with better sleep.

Calcium is required by the body to produce melatonin, which comes from the amino acid tryptophan.

Yogurt is rich in protein, especially casein.

Preliminary research suggests that consumption of casein protein in the evening may reduce hunger the next day.

If yogurt is your favorite snack, you can choose plain yogurt or flavor it with unsweetened fruits like berries and peaches.

A 6 ounce (170-grams) container of plain, nonfat yogurt contains 94 calories. Forty-two calories are added by adding half a cup (74g) of blueberries.

Wrap with Whole-Grain

Tortillas are a great way to satisfy your late-night hunger.

You can make a quick snack by heating one whole-grain corn tortilla and topping it with Hummus or unsweetened nuts butter. Roll it up and enjoy!

A 6-inch (30-gram) tortilla averages 94 calories. One tablespoon (15g) of Hummus will increase the calories by 25.

You can add leftover chopped chicken breasts, leafy greens, and dried cranberries for something heartier.

Tryptophan is an important source in chicken, which is necessary for melatonin production. Melatonin can also be obtained from dried cranberries.

Pumpkin Seeds

A 1 ounce (28 g) serving of Pumpkin Seeds contains 146 calories. It also provides 37% of the RDI of magnesium. This has been associated with better sleep.

Tryptophan is also abundant in pumpkin seeds.

You can eat carbohydrates like half of an Apple or some raisins with pumpkin seeds. This will encourage your body to route Tryptophan from the seeds to your brain to produce melatonin.

Participants consumed 250mg of Tryptophan from pumpkin seed daily in a preliminary study. They also received carbs in the form of a nutrition bar. The participants slept better and spent more time awake.

People who received 250mg of supplemental, drug-quality tryptophan powder or carbs in a nutritional bar slept 7% more. The sleep quality of a control group that ate only carbs did not improve.

Larger studies will only confirm these results. It is encouraging to see that Tryptophan found in foods, such as pumpkin seeds, may have the same effect as pure, supplemental Tryptophan.


Edamame is unripe green soybeans that can be bought fresh or frozen.

Toss some edamame shells with a little salt and pepper for a quick, easy snack. They don’t need to be cooked. One hundred fifty calories are contained in a half-cup (113g) serving.

You can also buy dry-roasted Edamame. This is similar to fully matured, roasted soybeans (soy nuts). One hundred thirty calories are found in one-fourth of a cup (30g).

Edamame is rich in protein and contains significant amounts of Tryptophan.

Pair the Edamame and carbs to help transport Tryptophan to the brain for melatonin production.

You can use Edamame in place of garbanzo beans in your favorite hummus recipe. Spread it on whole-grain bread or dry roast it with dried fruit.


Eggs can be used in many different snacks, depending on your time and effort.

Keep some hard-boiled eggs in your fridge for quick snacks or egg salad spread on crackers.

You can also find many scrambled egg muffin recipes online that are grain-free. These delicious treats can be frozen and reheated in a muffin pan or microwave.

A large egg contains 72 calories and 6 grams of hunger-satisfying proteins, including 83 mg tryptophan.

Strawberries, Brie

Fresh strawberries are a great option for large snacks that don’t have a lot of calories.

Strawberries are a great source of vitamin C, and they contain a significant amount of melatonin.

A cup of sliced strawberries (166g) has 53 calories. You could easily have two cups of sliced strawberries and still keep your late-night snack intake to 200 calories.

You can also pair a cup (166g) of sliced strawberries and 1 ounce (28g) of brie. The cheese has 94 calories and 6 grams of protein to satisfy your hunger pangs.

Pregnant women should not eat brie or other soft cheeses. Soft cheese can cause listeria infections and miscarriage.

The bottom line

A snack of fewer than 200 calories is fine if you are truly hungry at night and not just bored or stressed.

Whole foods, including berries, bananas, goji berries and kiwis, are delicious and nutritious late-night snacks.

These foods often contain sleep-supportive substances, such as serotonin and Tryptophan.

It is important to have healthy snacks that you like. You will be less likely to go to the nearest convenience store or fast-food drive-thru for a high-calorie, unhealthy snack before you go to bed.

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