Why You'll Want To Eat Nuts Before Bed

Eating before bed is a controversial topic of debate amongst nutritionists. Some argue that the body's natural rate of metabolism decreases close to bedtime and anything eaten right before will only be stored as fat, which inevitably causes weight gain (via Healthline). Those with acid reflux are also advised to keep a gap of at least three hours between mealtime and bed. On the other hand, some studies indicate that eating before bed can actually help lose weight, regulate blood sugar levels through the night, and more importantly, help you sleep better.

It also comes down to what exactly it is that you eat before bed. Sugar and caffeine are an obvious no go as they hinder the natural sleep cycle, salty snacks will only make you more hungry, and fried foods before bed will also cause heartburn and lead to a shifty night of sleep (via Everyday Health). A boozy nightcap may seem like a good idea, but alcohol negatively affects the REM phase of sleep making you feel incredibly tired the morning after.

While there are plenty of foods to avoid before bed, there are certain snacks that can be eaten without the worry of not sleeping well. Nuts, for one, are not only acceptable late-night snacks, but they may actually help you sleep even better.

Nuts can help you sleep better

Healthline notes that any foods that have the amino acid called tryptophan are good snacks to eat before bed because they trigger the mood-stabilizing hormone serotonin that helps you sleep better. Nuts in general, it turns out, are full of tryptophan. Everyday Health also points out that some nuts are even better than others. Walnuts and almonds, for example, are high in magnesium and melatonin which both help induce sleep, reduce insomnia, and improve the quality of sleep.

Pistachios are a particularly good source of melatonin and a natural one at that (via Well + Good). Studies find that an ounce of pistachios — roughly 49 nuts — clock in 6.6 milligrams of melatonin, which is more than what some artificial supplements contain. In addition to almonds, walnuts, and pistachios, you may want to consider eating Brazil nuts before bed too. A single Brazil nut packs in 96 mcg of selenium — a nutrient that makes falling asleep easier — which is a lot more than the 55 mcg that is recommended for daily intake in adults (via Healthline).

So while nuts are healthy snacks to opt for when you're hungry at night, there's good reason for you to consider actively munching on nuts before bed regardless. As long as the nuts aren't coated in salt or sugar and you're mindful of the portions, nuts may go a long way in helping you get a good night's sleep.