You Might Want To Start Eating Eggs At Night. Here's Why

You just finished dinner a few hours ago and now your stomach is starting to growl. Meaning, it's time for a pre-bed snack. Heading to the pantry, it's likely that you reach for a bag of potato chips, a handful of chocolate, or some other processed treat (Cheez-its, Goldfish, pretzels, the like). After all, for many of us, our nighttime eating decisions are hardly the most nutritious despite how delicious they may be.

A better option? Eggs. You probably only think of them as a breakfast food, but it turns out that eating eggs right before bed could actually have a few benefits for your body. Everyone from dietitians to food bloggers to celebrities like Chrissy Teigen are big fans of enjoying the protein-packed golden orbs in the evening. Here's why you might want to swap your Doritos for a plate of scrambled eggs the next time you're reaching for a midnight snack.

Protein can help you sleep better

Your typical nighttime snacks tend to be high in carbs and fat and low in protein, which isn't doing your sleep any favors. Eggs, on the other hand, are a great source of protein that can make you snooze deeper and longer. According to Well+Good, six grams of protein — which is the equivalent of one egg — is the perfect amount to keep your blood sugar balanced over night. This will help you sleep undisturbed as opposed to those carby, fatty snacks that cause blood sugar spikes that can wake you up throughout the night.

A study by Purdue University found that people who consumed more protein reported overall better quality of sleep over the course of four months. Not only that but research from Science Daily shows that eating protein right before bed can also lead to more muscle protein synthesis while you sleep. Which means it could help you to make some serious gains outside of the gym.

Eggs are easy for your body to digest

Eggs are also easy for your body to process, Joseph Murray, a gastroenterologist with Mayo Clinic, told Men's Health. This is important when you're heading to bed just a few minutes later because your body won't be trying to digest something heavy or fibrous, while you're trying to fall asleep. Note: Murray says a scrambled egg will be easier for your body to process than a hard-boiled one. 

According to Live Strong, the egg whites themselves are easier on the stomach for most people, so if you're someone who struggles with digestion, you might want to skip the yolk. Be sure to cook them fully, as raw egg can upset your stomach and put you at risk for salmonella poisoning, per the CDC. One final tip? Finish your eggs about two to three hours before bed so your body can digest them before you fall asleep, the National Institute for Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases recommends.

Celebrities eat eggs before bed

Teigen recently tweeted about her "night eggs," saying it's her daily bedtime ritual. "I can't sleep without being overly full," she explained. "I take two hard-boiled eggs to bed every night and eat them when I randomly wake up." She even shared a video on Instagram walking fans through her exact process for making what she calls her "world famous" night eggs. She boils them and peels them with the slam and roll technique (slam the egg on a cutting board and then roll it around to loosen up the shell) before slicing, sprinkling with sea salt, and enjoying pre-bed.

Teigen also wrote out the recipe for her night eggs on her own Cravings blog. "If there is one food I have formed a true dependency on, it's my night eggs," she says. "It started as a healthy 'snack' to cure my midnight cravings, but now they've become a part of my evening ritual."

The nutrients in eggs can make you sleepy

It's not just the protein in eggs that can help you sleep — both the whites and the yolk also contain other nutrients and antioxidants that improve your snoozing, per Healthline. One of those is melatonin, which is known as the sleep hormone and naturally occurs in your body to regulate your circadian rhythm. It's one of the first things people reach for when they're struggling with sleep. While you can take a melatonin supplement, eggs are one of the foods that are highest in melatonin, according to research published in the U.S. National Library of Medicine

Eggs also contain high amounts of tryptophan, especially in the yolks, Healthline explains. Tryptophan is an essential amino acid that serves a lot of purposes in your body, one of which is to increase production of melatonin. That means the more tryptophan you get, the more sleep you may be able to have. So, don't be afraid to eat them for the most snooze-inducing benefits.