WARNING: science-based nutrition will rock your world.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Bedtime Snacks

It's official: we can eat a light snack right before going to bed and still have sweet dreams! As a matter of fact, for some people, a snack will  increase the quality of sleep and improve body chemistry. How? By decreasing the likelihood of a hypoglycemic episode in the middle of the night.

Have you ever been awakened by hunger? Well, guess what? You might suffer from low blood sugar. A light bedtime snack just might be your ticket to Paradise.

The advice still stands to not eat a huge meal late in the evening. If you've ever enjoyed a whopping bowl of spaghetti with bratwurst, wiped up the sauce with a concrete block-sized portion of garlic bread, and quaffed half a bottle of red wine at 9pm, then gone to sleep at 10, you know what I'm talking about.

But, let's say you're awake at 10p, and you feel empty inside. You've subscribed to the 8pm rule - NO EATING after 8pm - because that's the Prevailing Weight Loss Myth of the Diet Dictocrats. So, you go to bed hungry, and you wake up 3 or 4 times during the dark hours, then the alarm sounds and you wonder why you feel lousy after spending several hours slumbering.

 Are you willing to chuck this old, worn-out wisdom and opt for a little bedtime snacky snack as a trial? You have nothing to lose but your sleep-deprived, maniacal tendencies.

And please, know this: sending a child to bed hungry will whack out their body chemistry. "Punish" them by withholding caffeine and sugar instead.

Suggested bedtime snacks: 
  • a small serving of vanilla yogurt, maybe with a few blueberries or some other fresh fruit
  • a spoonful of nut butter on a half piece of toast
  • a small apple
  • 3 or 4 raw almonds
  • a slice of raw organic cheese
  • a small piece of chicken or turkey
Avoid these foods as right-before-bedtime snacks, unless you want to go for the ride of your life:
  • sardines
  • beer and leftover pizza
  • pickles
  • any meat in a can

And if you're really lucky, the sleep fairy will tuck you in and sprinkle sweet dream dust on your pillow. Sleep loose, fly high...see you on the Eagle Nebula! (click here for some beautiful bedtime visuals)


  1. Nice post! Further, I've always wondered about those cultures who dine late in the evening... like in Spain, many restaurants don't even open until 9-9:30pm. What are your thoughts on that?

  2. Other cultures tend to close shop after lunch and take a nap before returning to work. They also eat very nice tapas late in the afternoon to stave off hunger pangs. Plus, they come alive after dinner...you know, they waltz around the Promenade at midnight with their sweethearts...at least that's been my experience. We're still too dang Anglican to have that much fun or explore those common-sensical options in depth.

  3. What a fun blog you have created! I enjoyed meeting you yesterday at StarWorks. I'm jealous that I did not come up with some of your snappy phrases first!

  4. Thanks for posting, Alex! Here's hoping for more good interaction between us; best wishes for your success. :-)