Foods to eat at night? What am I talking? Well, it’s true that one should avoid eating late at night. But it holds true when you follow the principle of early to bed and early to rise. But if you are awake till late in the night, due to insomnia or social media or any other reason then hunger pangs are bound to be there. Unavoidable!

Often on weekends, my husband, Sandeep, freaks out on TV and thus sleeps late, around 2 or 3 am. In between, of course, his rumbling tummy drags him to the kitchen from where he gets hold of readymade snacks and in the morning, empty packets put me off. But, what to do? Let him remain hungry? Or allow him to pile on calories by eating junk?

This led me to think of some healthy late-night snack options. And Just when I was struggling with some healthy options of food to eat late at night, my friend cum blogger, Srishti Gupta, came forward with her excellent ideas and shared this post. Its really helpful! Thanks, Srishti. Srishti’s ideas have helped me a lot. Let us see what she says about late-night snacking.

Foods To eat At Night

Is Sleeping Hungry Good?

This is age-old advice that dinner meals should be smaller as compared to other meals of the day because eating heavy dinner leads to weight gain. So, some people start avoiding dinner to lose weight and they sleep hungry at night. They do not understand how sleeping hungry can disrupt their metabolism and cause nausea, acidity, and loss of muscle mass.

On the other hand, there are some other groups of people who advocate eating full at night which often causes bloating after dinner. Although, a mild exercise can help you overcome this problem. Studies say that post-dinner cardio like walking on the treadmill or outside can improve your digestion and sleep quality plus helps you relieve gas problems. Read here the health benefits of walking after meals.
But a healthy dinner is as important to your body as other nighttime activities. Whether you are on a diet or want late-night snack ideas for busy nights, the list of the foods in this article and their recipe ideas would help you eat healthily or not sleep hungry at night. Let’s know first, which foods are ideal for dinners.


Why You Should Not Eat Late At Night?

It is said that eating late at night causes weight gain. This is because the body’s metabolism slows down, calories that you eat are not burnt and are thus stored as fat leading to weight gain. Also, normally, when people eat late at night, it’s usually in front of the TV or laptop and thus no control on portion size too. This unhealthy way of eating is what causes health issues.

So in reality, what you eat is much more important than when you eat.

Sharing a real incidence here. One of my uncles watches TV practically till 3 or 4 am. A few years back, while watching TV, when he felt hungry, instead of snacks or biscuits, he started eating carrots. You won’t believe it, but he actually ate almost half a kg of carrots daily. After a few months, result? No, no weight gain. In fact, he lost some but what amazed him (and us too) that his vision improved and had to get new spectacles with reduced power (as carrots are rich in Vitamin A)

Thus, what you eat at night is really important! You need to keep a watch on your calories.


Characteristics Of Healthy Dinners

Dinner has many essential functions from fueling the body to having good quality sleep.
Therefore, dinner meals should be packed with healthy nutrients. Tryptophan-Rich Foods are the best choices for dinners and late-night snacks.


What is Tryptophan?

Tryptophan is an amino acid that is important not only for the proper functioning of many organs but also for sound sleep. After absorbing L-tryptophan from food, our bodies convert it to melatonin and other minerals. This melatonin is important for sleep. It has been used to treat chronic insomnia and promote relaxing hormones in the brain.

Tryptophan is present in most protein-based foods, plant-based resources, dietary proteins. The foods abundant in tryptophan are chocolate, fish, eggs, cheese, oats, dried dates, warm milk, yogurt, red meat,  poultry, sesame, chickpeas, almonds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and peanuts.

To know more about tryptophan read here.


1. Almonds

Almonds are a good source of sleep-inducing tryptophan. They also help in weight loss which makes them good healthy food for consuming at night.
Packed with nutrients, almonds also reduce the risks of certain diseases such as cardiovascular and diabetes risks, homeostasis, body weight, glucose, inflammation, cholesterol, and oxidative stress.

Recipe ideas

Almonds are used in various ways. So if you don’t not like eating them as nuts, you can try

Honey Roasted Almonds


2. Walnuts

As you already know walnut is a top nut for your brain health. Walnuts support your health manifold.

Recipe ideas

Banana Walnut Chocolate Muffins


3. Pistachios

Pistachios are the most melatonin-rich nuts. Melatonin is a hormone often known as a sleep hormone that lets your body realize that it’s time to go to bed.
Pistachios are also packed in protein, vitamin B6, and magnesium, all of which promote better sleep.

Recipe ideas

energy bar.... super food


4. Pumpkin seeds

Pumpkin seeds are also plentiful in tryptophan which provides a relaxing and pleasing sensation to your brain and helps you to sleep. Read more here.

Studies found a few pumpkin seeds consumed with a small amount of carbohydrate before bed provides your body with the tryptophan needed for boosting mood and improving your sleep.

Recipe ideas


5. Banana

If you have trouble sleeping and wake up more often at night, try picking certain fruits and vegetables for dinner. Banana fruit is one of those fruits that may help you fall asleep faster during the night.
They provide a great source of various antioxidants, fiber, potassium, vitamin C, and phytonutrients, all of which contribute to better sleep. Read here.

Recipe ideas

Ragi Cake


6. Kiwis

Kiwi is a very healthy fruit high in serotonin. Serotonin in the body is linked to several facets of sleep, such as inducing your brain to sleep by relaxing it and maintaining sleep during the night. Read more here.

Recipe ideas

fruity pizza



7. Figs

Figs contain calcium, potassium, magnesium, iron and other healthy nutrients that are crucial for a night of quality sleep. These nutrients help treat insomnia by curing sleeping disorders, stimulating the production of serotonin, a brain chemical that aids in inducing sleep.

Recipe ideas

Anjeer Rolls


8. Tart cherries

This super-nutrient fruit contains a considerably good amount of melatonin. As I mentioned above, melatonin is a sleep-stimulating hormone that helps regulate the sleep-wake cycle.
Tart cherry is one of the best food to improve your sleep quality. Read here about a very interesting study. You can also use grapes in place of cherries.

Recipe Ideas

Til Chikki


9. Sweet potato

Sweet potatoes are enriched in carbs, minerals magnesium, and zinc that work synergistically in creating melatonin which leads to improving your sleep.

Recipe ideas


10. Herbal Teas

People have used herbal teas for ages to treat several ailments and sleeping disorders. Modern studies also seem to advocate their calming effect on the mind. Herbal teas include rosemary tea, peppermint tea, lemon balm tea, turmeric tea, passionflower tea, and chamomile tea.

Recipe Ideas

Turmeric Tea



11.Grains & Cereals

One study found that eating high-glycemic carbs like corn-based cereals before bed may increase the hours of your sleep. Eating oatmeal at night can help keep your cholesterol levels in check.

Recipe Ideas

Pizza Rolls


12. Soy products

Soy products like soya bean, soy milk, soy sauce, tofu are excellent sources of tryptophan, especially for vegetarians. If you are a vegetarian or a vegan, you can substitute tofu and eggs for pretty much any soy product, in pretty much any recipe.

Recipe Ideas

Roasted Soybean

Roasted Soyabean



People who are diabetic or obese however specially need to control the portion size they consume. Ideally, they should sleep early to avoid eating at night but just in case they need to, please check the calorie count of the portions. It would be advisable to consult your dietician or doctor to fit the meal in your diet plan. Extra calories would require you to balance your intake in subsequent meals or additional workouts.

Wrapping up


Author Bio

Living a healthier lifestyle in this fast-paced world is quite an effort on your part. Srishti Gupta inspires you to change your life for the better by her articles on fitness and wellness (supported by science). At her blog, she gives detailed reviews & buying guides to fitness equipment that help you invest in the right products and make the best choice for you and your family.
You can check out her blog here:

Lets Connect

Hope you have found this post about healthy foods to eat at night useful. If yes, do share your views in the comments section below. Your feedback fuels my enthusiasm to post more good content.

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Eat healthily & live healthily!

4 Responses

  1. Thanks for featuring me on your blog, Samira! Beautifully presented! I just gave you a simple piece of writing, and see how you added the soul to it by your amazing style. And without your mouth-watering recipes, the article would never have been this much tasty 😍

    1. Hi Srishti, Thank you so much for your profuse words of appreciation. I hesitatingly made minor additions only to your already well conceptualized and beautifully written post. Your faith and affection gave me courage to do so. Keep sharing 👍🌹

  2. Fantastic post with very very helpful information.

    I will start to take this light food at night.

    I love dry foods😊. Usually, I used to take anjeer and dates in the morning.

    But this is a very good idea to take these before bed when we don’t want to eat heavy food.

    These will seriously give energy and provides enough nutrition to our body.

    Highly impressed with this awesome information. This would help many.

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