Nocturnal hunger

Sometimes your sleep breaks in between and you get up and start feeling hungry.

Your hunger pangs are so strong that they will not allow you to go back to sleep without satisfying them! At such a time, which foods are good to consume?

Can you take anything you find in the fridge at that hour or should you stick to some specific food types for this nocturnal hunger?

Nocturnal hunger

Often, we get up in the middle of the night and find ourselves hungry. We had a good dinner before sleep but despite that our stomachs is rumbling and asking for food.

We want to have something that fills up our stomachs without disturbing our next day’s breakfast. And we want something that will allow us to go off to sleep again and not keep us awake the remaining night.

This food should not give us a sickening feeling the next day. So which food is best to have for this nocturnal hunger?

1. Sliced turkey breast for nocturnal hunger

Nocturnal hunger
Sliced turkey breast (Source: KindPng)

If you are a non-vegetarian eater, you can have sliced turkey breast for midnight snacking. Deli-style sliced turkey breast serves the purpose.

You can roll it or make a half-sandwich of it. The protein kills hunger and the tryptophan in it allows you to sleep. Nutritionist Marissa Meshulam states:

“There is a reason you feel tired after Thanksgiving [or Christmas] dinner. Turkey is rich in the amino acid L-tryptophan, which is known for encouraging a sleepy, relaxed feeling,”

2. Cheese and crackers

Marissa stresses that any midnight snack we choose should have enough protein and fiber to give us a full feeling for the rest of the night. Cheese and crackers serve this function well. Marissa adds:

“Cheese contains some tryptophan, which also converts to melatonin and can help with sleep,”

3. Veggies with hummus

Veggies such as cucumber, cherry tomatoes, and baby carrots dipped in humus are a quick and ideal way to satisfy the midnight hunger. Dietitian Amanda Frankeny explains:

“I swear people forget that they often like eating vegetables. If you missed your dose of produce throughout the day, squeeze it in at night. Two spoonfuls of houmous provides protein, fibre, and complete satisfaction.”

4. Tart cherries and pistachios

Nocturnal hunger
Tart cherries and pistachios (Source: Paris Chez Sharon)

These tart cherries induce good sleep, studies have shown. The reason is that they are rich in melatonin which induces sleep. Have this with pistachios says, Marissa:

“The pistachios ensure you are satisfied with the fat/protein, plus they give you some melatonin,”

5. Bananas with nut butter

This combo is good for midnight snacking. Amanda elaborates:

The fruit contains potassium, helping to relax your muscles, and complex carbohydrates, which regulate blood sugar spikes that might keep you up. Combine it with peanut butter, a healthful, filling fat and tryptophan source, inducing sleepiness. This combo is made easily in the middle of the night and a total winner in my book.”

6. Cereal with milk

Also, read Diarrhoea: Foods to eat and those not to eat!

Cereals help in providing proteins and carbs without raising blood sugar. And add milk. Amanda reveals:

“Add milk for calcium, a mineral that helps your body produce and use melatonin,”

7. Protein bars

Nocturnal hunger
Protein bars (Source: Tastes better from scratch)

These are good to help you to go back to sleep. But avoid chocolate or coffee-containing bars since they prevent sleep. Amanda adds:

“Walnuts, almonds, and pistachios offer natural melatonin, protein and magnesium to fill you up and induce sleep,”