If you're having a midnight snack attack there are some specific tips to keep in mind — particularly regarding the compositions of the foods — to ensure your sleepy foods invite slumber.
For example, recipes for sleep are generally associated with foods that contain melatonin, a sleep hormone that encourages a quality night’s sleep.
Healthy levels of serotonin also tend to be an integral part of the foods included in sleep snacks. Serotonin is key in stabilizing our mood. When the brain has too little serotonin, it can wreak havoc on the nervous system and anxiety.
But those are just a few examples. There are also other ingredients and nutritional components that can support a quicker route to sleep. In fact, a study at the American Academy of Sleep Medicine found that greater saturated fat and lower fiber intake influenced sleep quality positively. Unsurprisingly, the study also found that an overall nutritious diet is key for optimal health and healthy sleep.
While there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to making bedtime snacks, there are a variety of proven sleepy foods. The recipes below include a few of our favorites.
4 Simple Sleep Recipes
Simple Golden Milkshake
One part delicious milkshake, one part anti-inflammatory and sleep-inducing powerhouse, this after-dinner treat will have you drifting off to dreamland in no time. It’s made with a couple of the best ingredients that are known to help the body produce melatonin and serotonin — bananas and almonds.
- 2 cups of almond milk
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp ground ginger
- 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
- 2 cups of coconut cream
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 bananas
- ¼ cup almond butter
- 6 pitted Medjool dates
- 2 cups of ice
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, add the almond milk, turmeric, cinnamon, ginger and black pepper. Stir frequently until the mixture reaches a simmer, then allow it to cool completely in the fridge for one hour. (Tip: Prep this earlier in the night for a faster result later.)
- In a mixing bowl, add the coconut cream, maple syrup, and vanilla extract. Use an electric mixer to whisk until fluffy. (Tip: You can also prep this earlier and keep in the fridge, covered, until ready to use.)
- In a blender, combine the bananas, almond butter, dates, and ice. Add the cooled almond milk mixture to the blender and blend until smooth.
- Pour into glasses, top with coconut milk whipped cream and enjoy!
Sweet Potato Toast with Almond Butter
This is a nourishing take on toast that’s chockful of healthy ingredients that will help you get to sleep more quickly. It’s served warm and toasty, which can help comfort the body before bedtime. Plus, it includes cherries, which are a natural source of melatonin. In fact, many dieticians recommend a daily intake of cherries to help regulate your sleep cycle, so why not add them to toast?
- 1 cup Greek yogurt
- 3 tbsp almond butter
- 1 tbsp honey, plus more to top
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon, plus more to top
- 1 large sweet potato
- 1 banana, sliced
- Dried cherries, to top
- Sliced almonds, to top
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In a small bowl, combine the yogurt, almond butter, honey, and cinnamon. Set aside.
- Thinly slice the sweet potato vertically into about ¼-inch slices. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until tender and golden brown, flipping once halfway through.
- Spread a thin layer of the yogurt mixture on the toasted sweet potato, and top with the banana, cherries, almonds, a drizzle of honey, and dash of cinnamon.
Greek Yogurt with Slivered Almonds and Berries
Dairy products such as yogurt can help with sleep, because calcium helps the body process melatonin, according to the American Sleep Association. What’s more, nuts are rich in healthy fats like omega-3 fatty acids, which promote the body’s natural production of serotonin, making this classic and delicious combination a perfect bedtime snack.
- 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 2 tbsp slivered almonds
- 1/3 cup mixed berries
- Honey to top, optional
- In a small bowl, add the yogurt. Top with the slivered almonds, mixed berries, and a drizzle of honey if you like a bit more sweetness.
Whole-Wheat Toast with Almond Butter and Sliced Bananas
Another classic combination that doubles as a surprisingly helpful bedtime snack is none other than whole-grain toast with almond butter and bananas. Whole grains have been proven to encourage insulin production, which stimulates tryptophan, an amino acid responsible for the production of serotonin and melatonin.
- 1 slice of whole-wheat toast
- 2 tbsp almond butter
- ½ banana, sliced
- Toast the bread.
- Spread almond butter and top with sliced banana.
Now that you have a menu of bedtime snacks that will help your mind and body drift off to sleep, it's time to dig in!
READ NEXT: 6 Foods That Help You Sleep
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