Hey lovelies, Karina Elle here.
If you know anything about me, you know I LOVE sleep. I need it, I crave it!
Sometimes though late night hunger makes it impossible for me to fall asleep. So what’s a girl to do?
You know how it goes…It’s late at night, and you’re hungry. No, hangry. You want to eat all of the things, but you have also heard those famous lines, “Don’t eat after 8:00pm,” because that is supposedly associated with weight gain, and can even make it harder for you to sleep at night.
Well, eating at night may not be as bad as you might have thought… depending on what it is you choose to eat that is. Instead of focusing on what time you eat, you should focus on how much you eat. As eating too much, too late, can cause you to store those extra calories as fat.
As a rule of thumb, keep your late night snacking under 250 calories, and choose foods that can actually promote sleep. If possible, you should also eat an hour before getting in those needed Zzzzs.
Here are some snacks that you can eat at night, that won’t cause you to put on those extra lbs.
And bonus: a lot of them contain ingredients that are rich in melatonin and tryptophan. Melatonin helps with the sleep cycle and tryptophan contains serotonin which will help you to feel more relaxed.
Coconut Rice Pudding
If you need something sweet before bed, this is the perfect treat that is rich in carbohydrates. Spikes of insulin can change your circadian rhythms and induce sleep.
If you are in a hurry though we have some IdealLean Oatmeal ready to go just for you !
2 c water
1 c brown rice
3/4 c unsweetened coconut milk
3 tbsp. coconut sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1. Bring water to a boil and add rice.
2. Cover and simmer for 30-45 minutes, or until water is absorbed.
3. Stir in coconut milk, coconut sugar, vanilla extract, and cinnamon and simmer for 5 more minutes. Pudding should be thick.
4. Enjoy hot or cold. Store in refrigerator.
Serves 4. Serving size: about ½ cup.
Calories per serving: 207, Protein: 4g, Carbs: 45g, Fat: 3g
Yogurt with Sweet Cherry Sauce
Cherries contain melatonin, which is the chemical that helps regulate your sleep cycle.
1/4 c dark sweet cherries
1 tbsp. agave nectar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract or a bit of Vanilla Protein
1 tsp. pistachios, crushed
1/2 c vanilla flavoured greek yogurt
1. Mix cherries, agave nectar and vanilla extract over stovetop and simmer until cherries are soft.
2. Pour over vanilla greek yogurt and top with crushed pistachios. Enjoy!
Calories per serving: 193, Protein: 11g, Carbs: 35g, Fat: 1g
Honey Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds are rich in tryptophan which assists in melatonin and serotonin production contributing to a restful night’s sleep.
1 c raw pumpkin seeds
1 tsp. coconut oil, melted
1 tsp. honey
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1. Remove pumpkin seeds from pumpkin, rinse and remove any goop.
2. Let seeds dry.
3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
4. Mix pumpkin seeds with coconut oil, honey and cinnamon.
5. Spread seeds onto greased baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes.
6. Stir seeds half way so seeds evenly bake and enjoy!
Serves 4. Serving size: 1/4 cup.
Calories per serving: 185, Protein: 9g, Carbs: 5g, Fat: 16g
Popcorn with Sea Salt
Popping in a movie or watching TV after a long day? Don’t break the calorie bank with high calorie, fatty options. This popcorn will keep you on track and help satisfy your need for a salty snack.
1/2 c popcorn kernels
1/2 tsp. olive oil
1 brown paper bag
Sea salt to taste
If you are a peanut butter lover, there is something that I love to do with my popcorn… I always add a bit of Peanut Butter Powder on top.. That’s SO yummy!
1. Mix popcorn kernels and olive oil until evenly coated.
2. Pour into brown paper bag and add sea salt.
3. Fold top of brown bag and microwave for 1 1/2-2 minutes. Enjoy!
Serves 6. Serving size: about 1 cup.
Calories per serving: 74, Protein: 2g, Carbs: 14g, Fat: 1g
Lavender Vanilla Milk Steamer
Lavender has been known to help ease anxiety and insomnia. The milk also has tryptophan, which will help you get a good night’s sleep!
1 c lowfat skim milk
1/2 tsp. dried lavender
1 tsp. honey
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract or a bit of Vanilla protein ( just for the taste)
1. Mix milk and dried lavender over low heat until milk is hot and frothy (but not boiling).
2. Strain milk and add honey and vanilla extract. Enjoy!
Calories per serving: 108, Protein: 8g, Carbs: 18g, Fat: 0g
Peanut Butter & Banana Toast
As I mentioned before, spikes of insulin can change our circadian rhythms and induce sleep. The carbohydrates in this snack will assist in that. On top of that, bananas are a great source of magnesium, potassium, and B6 and will help produce melatonin.
1 slice Ezekiel bread, toasted
1 tbsp. peanut butter / peanut butter powder
1 tsp. honey
1/4 of a medium banana, sliced
1. Spread peanut butter and honey on toasted bread.
2. Add banana slices and enjoy!
Calories per serving: 228, Protein: 8g, Carbs: 31g, Fat: 9g
Chamomile Ginger Tea
Drinking chamomile tea helps elevate your glycine levels, which will help with relaxing your nerves and muscles.
8 oz water
1 chamomile tea bag
1/2 tsp. fresh ginger, thinly grated
1. Steep tea in hot water, mix in ginger.
2. Garnish with lemon slice if desired and enjoy!
Calories per serving: 0, Protein: 0g, Carbs: 0g, Fat: 0g
Sleepy Time Smoothie
This smoothie is high in antioxidant and serotonin levels, which will promote sleep. It is also rich in calcium and magnesium from the spinach, which will assist in the relaxation of the nervous system.
1 medium kiwi, peeled
1/2 c pineapple
1 c spinach
1 c unsweetened coconut milk
1 tbsp. agave
1. Add ice, blend & enjoy!
Calories per serving: 228, Protein: 3g, Carbs: 46g, Fat: 5g
Improved Sleep With IdealLean NightTime Probiotic
These recipes are all great, and will help to improve the quality of your sleep, but if you are wanting something else that will help improve the quality of your sleep, as well as help with nutrient absorption, improved digestion, and better gut health try IdealLean Nighttime Probiotic.
It helps me fall asleep and I wake up feeling super refreshed. Try it! Your body will thank you.