Up until now, your midnight snack may have consisted of milk and cookies or salty chips. Either way, eating late at night isn't the problem — it's what you're eating before bed.
"There are no time restrictions that dictate when we should stop eating – if you’re truly hungry, eat," says registered dietitian Nicole Osinga. "The reason you may have heard that you’re not supposed to eat after a certain time is because people are most likely to binge eat in the few hours before bed."
Osinga says the right snack — so not any of these sugary, salty and overly processed ones — can even help you stabilize your sleep, blood sugar levels and even help your fat-burning hormone (glucagon) do its job.
"Protein can actually interfere with sleep, so sticking with a carb and a fat will slow down the absorption of the carbohydrate, leading to more stable blood sugars," she says.
When we sleep, we are technically fasting, she adds. If you are eating before bed, make sure it is at least 45 minutes to an hour before snooze time.
"Eating food before bed will help raise our blood sugars slightly during our 'fast,' instead of letting them drop continuously all night long, which leads to hormone imbalances," she says. Having a low blood sugar may cause a person to feel sluggish in the morning or wake up in the middle of the night.
Below, Osinga gives us eight bedtime snack options that hit around the 200 to 250 calorie mark. Remember, don't turn your snack into a meal.