What Nutritionists Eat Before Bed

Hit with a late-night craving? Try reaching for one of these nutritionist-approved snacks.

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Expert Snacking Choices

Let’s begin by busting the myth that it’s taboo to eat before bed. Despite the belief that late-night munching is a weight-gain guarantee, eating a sensible snack before bed can actually help you maintain a healthy weight, and control cravings and blood sugar. We asked dietitians worldwide to share their favorites foods to eat before going to sleep.

Glass of Milk

Warm milk before bed isn't just an old wives’ tale. Milk (warm or cold) actually is a good choice to sip before bed. "If I’m hungry before bed, I like to have a glass of milk" says Alabama-based dietitian Stacy Lewis. "Milk has 1 gram of protein for every ounce. This helps me stay satisfied until breakfast."

Greek Yogurt

Another good dairy option is Greek yogurt, as recommended by health and wellness expert Edwina Clark, MS, RD APD, CSSD. "A bowl of Greek yogurt and fruit provides all the creamy sweetness of ice cream without the added fat and sugar," she says. "And yogurt is rich in probiotics, which may help settle the stomach, and is also a source of the amino acid tryptophan, which helps regulate circadian rhythms."

Chocolate-Covered Almonds

Romina Barritta, RD of GlobalDietitians.com reminds us there may not be a need to eat before bed. She recommends considering what time you had dinner to avoid mindless munching. "In Argentina dinner is served late, around 8:30pm or 9pm, so there's no need to snack before bed ... but occasionally a decaf espresso with a little milk, plus dark chocolate-covered almonds is my thing."

Peanut Butter

Lots of nutritionists love peanut butter. Brynn McDowell, RD reaches for something satisfying and a little sweet. "My favorite bedtime snack is a spoonful of peanut butter with a few dark chocolate chips on top. It's creamy and crunchy, providing some protein and fat to keep me full and a little bit of sweetness to satisfy my sweet tooth."


Did you know that popcorn counts toward your daily servings of whole grains?! "One of my go-to bedtime snacks is air-popped popcorn with a sprinkle of salt," admits Kara Elizabeth Carter, RD, and you can use your microwave to make it with this recipe from Alton Brown.

Cheese and Fruit

The combo of cheese and fruit is perfect for a bedtime snacking bliss. According to Dani Sindelar RD, CDE, LN, pairing up cheese and apple slices is the perfect combination of sweet and savory.

Herbal Tea

An overwhelming number of nutrition experts cozy up with a cup of tea before bed. "Less eating and more sipping!" is RD Jessie Furman’s mantra. "Warm herbal tea is my first choice towards easing into my bedtime routine while delivering gentle flavor." Among some of the most popular varieties: chamomile, lavender and rooibos.

Pumpkin Seeds

Triad to Wellness dietitian Tracee Yablon Brenner sips her tea with a side of pumpkin seeds. "Pumpkin seeds are rich in magnesium and tryptophan, which is an amino acid that has been helpful in treating insomnia. Your body converts it into serotonin, then melatonin, the relaxing sleep hormone."

Pita Chips and Hummus

Bedtime snacks don’t have to be complicated. Another winning combo of healthy carbs and protein can be found in a serving of hummus with a handful pita chips for dipping. As simply put by Tricia Benjamin Ruth, RD, "the protein and carbs fuel me through the night."

Frozen Fruit

Craving a frozen treat? Take a tip from dietitian Jessica Cording. "I absolutely love frozen berries as a bedtime snack — it’s that tart and sweet flavor combo." Frozen berries also pair well with other late-night superfoods. "If I know I need a little protein, I’ll add some plain Greek yogurt, ricotta or a piece of cheese."

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