Healthy Late-Night Snacks: 28 Ideas To Curb Your Cravings | Casper Blog (2023)

You’ve finished your nighttime routine, started to wind down, and climbed into bed only for your stomach to start growling unforgivingly — we’ve all been there.

We’re often faced with the dilemma of wondering if it’s worth getting up to eat, and if so, what healthy late-night snacks are on hand that would satisfy those cravings and help you sleep.

To help you listen to your body’s cravings but also provide it with the right nutrients, we’ve compiled 28 science-backed and healthy late-night snack ideas that will help you get the beauty sleep that you need to feel good.

Savory Late-Night Snacks

Healthy Late-Night Snacks: 28 Ideas To Curb Your Cravings | Casper Blog (1)

There are a wide variety of healthy options for savory snack lovers. Get creative in your kitchen with these tasty, light, and filling late-night snack ideas.

1. Popcorn

When winding down before bed with a bag of popcorn and a show, you may wonder, is popcorn a good late-night snack? While pre-packaged popcorn can often contain a lot of sodium and harmful chemicals like perfluorinated compounds (PFCs), making popcorn from scratch is a tasty, light, and filling way to take care of bedtime cravings.

2. Hummus

This Mediterranean chickpea-based favorite will keep you full for hours. Jam-packed with protein and healthy fats, it’s the ideal savory treat for the late-night snacker. Spread it onto pita bread or use it as a dip for pretzels or carrots.

3. Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt before bed will provide you with all of the protein you need to feel satisfied into the night. It’s also a great source of probiotics to keep your gut working properly.

Additionally, yogurt consumption has even been linked to insomnia relief. Just be sure to avoid flavored varieties that come with several grams of added sugar, as this reduces the nutritional value and could make it harder to fall asleep. Instead, add a little honey, brown sugar, or agave.

4. Cottage Cheese

Cottage cheese is a commonly overlooked source of protein and valuable nutrients. Like yogurt, it serves as an excellent base for other tasty and nutritious foods.

Consider adding walnuts, sliced apples, and maybe a little drizzle of honey to make it a tasty, filling bedtime snack. However, it’s a good idea to choose a low sodium variety to avoid a high sodium intake which could increase blood pressure.

5. Fish

Fatty fish like salmon and tuna provide the valuable combination of vitamin D and omega-3 that are critical for serotonin production. This regulatory hormone not only enhances one’s ability to sleep but it also supports day-to-day brain functions.

6. Avocado Toast

Avocado toast may be a simple snack, but it has gained such a popular reputation for a reason. It’s not a must-have among millennials solely for its tastiness — avocados are also a great source of magnesium, which can help curb your sleep anxiety. It’s a great way to boost your mood and chill out your body before laying down for the night.

7. Bell Peppers

While bell peppers are extremely rich in flavor by themselves, they are also some of the most versatile peppers out there. From dipping them in ranch or hummus to stuffing them with grains or cheese, if you’re looking for a vitamin-rich, sweet-yet-savory bedtime treat, bell peppers may be the snack for you.

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8. Oatmeal

Like yogurt and cottage cheese, oatmeal is the ideal blank canvas for a variety of added flavors and nutrients. Consider adding fruits, nuts, and a little brown sugar to a bowl of plain oatmeal for a filling and healthy late-night snack.

Johns Hopkins suggests eating oatmeal before bed, as it contains complex carbohydrates that trigger the release of serotonin.

9. Tofu

Tofu is a soy-based protein that has become a favorite among vegetarians, vegans, and meat-eaters alike. While more research has yet to be done, studies have demonstrated a positive relationship between soy and relief of sleep disorders.

Consider making a stir fry with veggies and tofu a couple of hours before bed for a healthy, robust, sleep-inducing meal.

10. Homemade Veggie Chips

Since pre-packaged veggie chips are often just as unhealthy as potato chips, we recommend making your own homemade veggie chips. Oven bake or air fry sliced sweet potatoes, zucchini, or beets for a crunchy and nutritious snack that limits unnecessary calories.

11. Rice Cakes

If you’re looking for a light, airy crunch to satisfy your midnight munchies, rice cakes are the way to go. Add flavor and nutrients with nut butter, avocado, cheese, or fruit — the options are endless!

Rice cakes are particularly great for when you’re in a snacking mood as opposed to hungry, as they provide a satisfying crunch with just a few simple ingredients.

12. Celery

If you’re trying to avoid extra calories before bed but feel the need to munch on something, celery has plenty of vitamins and minerals and a low glycemic index. Cover it in peanut or almond butter to give it an extra boost of protein.

Celery with peanut butter and raisins — better known as ants on a log — is a fantastic snack for kids and adults alike!

13. Eggs

Eggs can be prepared in a variety of ways, but one thing holds true regardless of preparation style — they’re just as rich in nutrients as they are filling. Boiling or scrambling an egg before bed will provide you with the tryptophan needed to produce melatonin.

Melatonin is the hormone that regulates sleep, so eating melatonin-rich foods is one of our favorite sleep hacks.

14. Pistachios

Pistachios have become one of the world’s most popular nuts for a reason. Not only are they a delicious, protein-rich treat that has been made into an equally popular ice cream flavor, but they are also one of the most melatonin-rich nuts.

15. Almonds

Almonds are highly nutritious nuts that provide your body with healthy fats as well as protein and magnesium. Consider roasting them in the oven for a toasty snack that’s packed with flavor.

When snacking on almonds, it’s a good idea to avoid flavored or salted varieties as this can ruin the nutritional value. High sodium foods are known to contribute to poor sleep due to increased blood pressure and dehydration.

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16. Walnuts

Similar to almonds and pistachios, walnuts contain plenty of melatonin to help regulate your circadian rhythm. They also contain nutrients that result in the production of serotonin, a valuable sleep- and mood-enhancing chemical. Try mixing walnuts into a nutrient-rich base, like yogurt or oatmeal, to add more flavor and nutritional value to your late-night snack.

17. Nut Butters

If you’re looking for the protein and nutrients that nuts provide but want a snack with a smoother consistency, spread some nut butter on toast, apples, or rice cakes. Whether peanut, almond, or cashew butter, top it off with a drizzle of honey to sweeten this protein-rich bedtime treat.

Sweet Late-Night Snacks

Healthy Late-Night Snacks: 28 Ideas To Curb Your Cravings | Casper Blog (2)

Who said sweet and healthy can’t go together? Truth is, there are countless ways to satiate your evening sweet tooth without sending your glucose levels through the roof.

18. Dark Chocolate

While our midnight sweet tooth may lure us to the chocolate shelf, it’s a good idea to choose dark chocolates that are rich in antioxidants and relatively low in sugar.

Dr. Brooke Scheller, DCN, CNS, and director of nutrition at Freshly explains, “I will warm up some unsweetened almond milk and mix in 1 tbsp of cacao powder, a touch of maple syrup, and a sprinkle of cinnamon as a healthy alternative to hot chocolate.” In the event that your chocolate craving isn’t satisfied with cacao powder, Dr. Scheller recommends dark chocolate made of 70% cacao or more.

19. Pineapple

Not only is pineapple a delicious tropical treat, but it also provides our bodies with the melatonin that helps us sleep well. One study showed pineapples increase participants’ melatonin levels by over 266%. Try sprinkling some coconut shavings on top to create your own piña colada bowl.

20. Kiwi

Kiwi is just as good for your sleep as it is for your taste buds. One study revealed that adults who ate two kiwis an hour before bedtime got to sleep 45% faster and stayed asleep longer than participants who did not. Eat it by the spoonful or add it to a colorful fruit salad!

21. Watermelon

A frequent cause of perceived hunger is actually dehydration. If it’s difficult for you to drink the recommended 2.7–3.7 liters of water per day, consider making watermelon a go-to bedtime snack. Not only is it packed with water, but it also contains sleep-enhancing nutrients and antioxidants such as choline and lycopene.

22. Apples

They say an apple a day keeps the doctor away, but should you eat an apple as a nighttime snack? Studies say yes!

Apples are rich in antioxidants, among other nutrients, and they are highly filling, even though they have a low calorie count. You’ll be going to bed feeling satisfied but not weighed down.

23. Tart Cherries

If you’ve seen them in the aisle of your local grocery store, you’ve probably wondered what tart cherries are good for. As it turns out, studies show that regular consumption of tart cherries and tart cherry juice combats insomnia, resulting in a reported 90 more minutes of sleep per night.

24. Bananas

You’ve probably heard that bananas are a great source of potassium, but what does that mean for your body? Potassium has been shown to reduce blood pressure and help your body relax, allowing you to seamlessly drift to sleep after satisfying your midnight cravings. For a delicious nighttime treat, put them on top of almond butter toast, in yogurt, or in oatmeal for a filling, nutritious snack.

If you’ve got a sweet tooth, Dr. Scheller recommends blending frozen bananas with a scoop of protein powder and a tablespoon of cacao powder for an ice cream alternative that will satisfy your sweet tooth and provide protein to help balance blood sugar.

25. Grapes

If you’re craving something sweet that won’t disrupt your sleep, grapes are the perfect healthy late-night snack. Although relatively high in sugar, they are an excellent natural source of melatonin, so eating them in moderation not only satisfies your hunger, but they can also help you sleep through the night. Consider freezing them on warm summer evenings for a healthy alternative to a popsicle.

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26. Smoothies

It’s not always easy to eat raw superfoods. Instead of making yourself a bowl of kale and spinach, blend it all up in a smoothie with your favorite nutrient-rich fruits, vegetables, and yogurt. Smoothies are delicious and healthy late-night snacks that allow for some creativity.

27. Cereal

Cereal for dinner? Yes please! Choosing a low-sugar cereal and low-fat milk allows you to reap the benefits of the carbohydrates that will help you sleep well. Consider substituting regular milk for oat milk to cut out saturated fats and increase vitamins.

28. Tea

While it may feel odd to classify tea as a “snack,” it can be a filling, hydrating, and sleep-inducing beverage that satisfies late-night cravings. Try chamomile tea, which contains apigenin, an antioxidant that helps to induce sleepiness. To make it more filling, add a low-fat milk and a little sweetener like honey.

Tips For Late-Night Snacking

Healthy Late-Night Snacks: 28 Ideas To Curb Your Cravings | Casper Blog (3)

If you want to curb unhealthy late-night cravings, there are some best practices to take into consideration. Let’s take a look at some advice provided by experts in the field of nutrition.

Create a Routine

Although eating the right foods late at night isn’t necessarily a bad thing, many nutritionists, including certified Integrative Nutrition Coach and gut health specialist Skylar Buchanan, advise avoiding eating two to three hours before bed to improve the likelihood of restful sleep. Keep your body on a healthy eating and sleeping schedule by planning your meals ahead of time so that you can minimize late-night cravings as much as possible.

Registered dietitian Emilie Berry also recommends making sure that your dinner contains a balance of protein, fats, carbs, and fiber to prevent hunger later at night.

Keep it Light

Despite attempts to curb late-night cravings, there may come times when hunger strikes a little later than you would like. Rather than allowing a growling stomach to keep you up at night, registered dietitian and nutritionist Chrissy Arsenault recommends eating late-night snacks that are rich in protein and fiber, so that you don’t have to eat much to feel satisfied. She adds that, “Eating calorie-dense or acidic snacks right before bed can give you heartburn or upset your stomach.”

Choose Snacks With Low Sugar and Sodium

When rummaging through your refrigerator late at night, Dr. Jinan Banna, Ph.D., RD, and Associate Professor of Nutrition at the University of Hawaii at Mānoa, suggests you should limit snacks that are high in sugar and sodium.

Echoing this point, Dr. Scheller explains that consuming foods high in sugar “could create blood sugar fluctuations that keep us up late at night and have us feeling a drag in the morning.” To fight hunger pangs without negative second-hand effects, keeping sugar and sodium to a minimum is an excellent habit to keep in mind.


Healthy Late-Night Snacks: 28 Ideas To Curb Your Cravings | Casper Blog (4)

Late-night snacks are a hot topic in the field of nutrition, and there are a lot of different opinions out there. Here are answers to some common questions surrounding late-night snacking.

Should I Go to Bed Hungry?

According to Berry, you should never ignore true hunger, even late at night. While late-night cravings can be reduced by consuming the right nutrients at dinnertime, there is always a chance that you’ll feel hungry again before bed. When that happens, it’s important to attend to your body’s needs with the right light snack foods.

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What Are the Healthiest Late-Night Snacks?

As the above snack ideas suggest, fruits, vegetables, yogurt, nuts, and hummus are all healthy late-night snack options. Due to their high nutritional value, whether that be through protein, vitamins, or probiotics, these snacks will certainly support a good night’s rest. Just be sure to read the labels to avoid excess sugar, fat, and sodium.

What Is the Best Snack to Eat Late at Night?

The best snacks to eat late at night are those packed with protein and melatonin. According to Buchanan, protein “is the most immediately satiating macronutrient.”
That’s why nuts, hummus, and yogurt are all such excellent late-night snacks. Since melatonin is a sleep-enhancing hormone, foods rich in it such as pistachios, bananas, and grapes also serve as excellent bedtime treats.

What Foods Can You Eat After 8 p.m.?

After 8 p.m., you have plenty of snacking options. Just be sure to avoid alcohol and foods with high sugar, sodium, and caffeine contents. These tend to cause acid reflux or increase blood pressure which could disrupt sleep. If nightmares have been inflicting your sleep, consider also avoiding foods that may cause nightmares after 8 p.m.

Should You Not Eat Before Bed?

If you aren’t hungry, many nutritionists recommend avoiding eating two to three hours before bed. That said, nobody should feel bad for enjoying a midnight snack. As long as you take the above advice into consideration, there’s nothing wrong with a bedtime snack to help quell your cravings before settling down for the night.

It’s okay if it takes some trial and error to figure out a bedtime routine that works for you, but hopefully, the ideas above will serve you well in your efforts to improve your eating and sleeping habits.

While smart snacking is a very important part of a healthy lifestyle, it’s only one piece of the equation for achieving consistently restful sleep. It’s equally important to practice good sleep hygiene, curate a distraction-free sleeping environment, and invest in a comfortable mattress that provides support.

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What should I eat for late night cravings? ›

Here are 14 excellent and healthy late-night snack ideas.
  • Tart cherries. Consider adding tart cherries like Montmorency or their juice to your late-night snack options. ...
  • Banana with almond butter. ...
  • Kiwi. ...
  • Protein smoothie. ...
  • Goji berries. ...
  • Crackers and cheese. ...
  • Hot cereal. ...
  • Trail mix.

What is a healthy snack in the middle of the night? ›

Snack on a handful of nuts, top some whole-grain toast with creamy homemade almond butter, or whip up a sweet and simple trail mix by combining 2 cups of mixed nuts, ½ cup of pumpkin seeds, ½ cup of sunflower seeds, and 1 cup of unsweetened dried fruit to keep on hand for late-night noshes.

What's the best snack before bed? ›

Healthy Bedtime Snacks
  • Almonds and bananas are excellent sources of magnesium. ...
  • For athletes, drinking a protein smoothie before bed may help with muscle repair. ...
  • Hot or cold oatmeal might help prepare your body for sleep and keep you full throughout the night.
Feb 7, 2023

What can I eat late at night that won't make me fat? ›

Healthy snacks you can eat after 8pm that won't lead to weight-gain and will still satisfy your late night cravings:
  • 1) Popcorn. Popcorn is both delicious, and healthier than other foods. ...
  • 2) Avocado. ...
  • 3) Bananas. ...
  • 4) Greek yoghurt. ...
  • 5) Dark chocolate. ...
  • 6) Cereal. ...
  • 7) Hummus. ...
  • 8) Blueberries.

What can I use to suppress appetite? ›

What are the types of appetite suppressants?
  1. Diethylpropion (Tenuate dospan®).
  2. Liraglutide (Saxenda®).
  3. Naltrexone-bupropion (Contrave®).
  4. Phendimetrazine (Prelu-2®).
  5. Phentermine (Pro-Fast®).
  6. Phentermine/topiramate (Qsymia®).
Sep 25, 2020

Why do I crave unhealthy food at night? ›

Stress and Anxiety. After a stressful day, you may find yourself craving sugary, salty, or high-fat snacks at night. Stress can interfere with self-control, spike hormones that make you feel hungry, and increase your cravings for comforting foods, like sweets. This combination can lead to nighttime snacking.

What foods burn belly fat overnight? ›

Best Foods to Eat Before Bed for Weight Loss
  • Whey Protein Shake. First and foremost, protein is important for weight loss - whey protein included! ...
  • A Warm Bowl of Oatmeal. ...
  • Greek Yogurt with Berries or Cherries. ...
  • Half a Turkey Sandwich. ...
  • Egg Wrap. ...
  • Smoked Salmon Bagel. ...
  • Cottage Cheese and Fruit.
Mar 9, 2022

What foods can you eat endlessly and not gain weight? ›

10 healthy foods you can eat without gaining weight
  • Celery.
  • Lettuce.
  • Watermelon.
  • Broccoli and cauliflower.
  • Grapefruit.
  • Mushrooms.
  • Berries (strawberries, blueberries, blackberries)
  • Kiwi.
Jan 20, 2023

What should I do before bed to lose weight? ›

6 bedtime drinks that can boost weight loss overnight
  1. Greek yogurt protein shake. As noted above, having protein before bed—especially if you've worked out beforehand—helps stimulate the repair and rebuilding of muscle (muscle protein synthesis) while you sleep. ...
  2. Chamomile tea. ...
  3. Red wine. ...
  4. Kefir. ...
  5. Soy-based protein shake. ...
  6. Water.
May 26, 2022

What should I eat when I'm hungry at night? ›

5 Best Late-Night Snacks
  • String Cheese. "A part-skim mozzarella cheese stick is a great late-night snack. ...
  • Nuts. ...
  • Greek Yogurt with Fruit. ...
  • Popcorn. ...
  • Whole Wheat Toast with Peanut Butter. ...
  • Pizza. ...
  • High-Sugar Cereals. ...
  • Chips.
Aug 13, 2022

What is the best protein snack before bed? ›

The Best High-Protein Healthy Bedtime Snacks
  • ½ Cup Roasted Chickpeas. ...
  • Cottage Cheese With Berries and Nut Butter. ...
  • ½ Cup of Edamame. ...
  • Scrambled Eggs and Whole-Grain Avocado Toast. ...
  • One Ounce of Cheese or 1/4 Cup of Roasted Nuts.
Nov 6, 2019

What should I eat if I hungry at night and gain weight? ›

Here are 5 foods to consume at night to gain weight:
  • Meat and fish. It's a common notion that eating meat, such as chicken or fish, will cause you to gain weight. ...
  • Rice. We Indians can't get enough of rice. ...
  • Nuts and nut butters. ...
  • Potatoes and starches. ...
  • Whole grain bread.
Jun 24, 2022

How can I shrink my appetite fast? ›

5 Best Ways to Control Your Hunger
  1. Use protein as a hunger-buster. ...
  2. Fill yourself up with watery, high-fiber foods. ...
  3. Exercise can help control hunger. ...
  4. Drink fluids to help you feel less hungry. ...
  5. Eating small, frequent meals can help curb your appetite.

What to do when hungry at night? ›

Good options for a late-night snack include:
  1. whole grain cereal with low‐fat milk.
  2. plain Greek yogurt with fruit.
  3. a handful of nuts.
  4. whole wheat pita with hummus.
  5. rice cakes with natural peanut butter.
  6. apples with almond butter.
  7. a low-sugar protein drink.
  8. hard-boiled eggs.

Why do I get so many cravings at night? ›

Nutrition Deficiency

One of the most common causes of late-night cravings is the lack of nutritional food throughout the day. This is especially common in people who are overly restrictive in an attempt to lose weight or individuals who simply forget to eat throughout the day.

Should I eat if I'm hungry late at night? ›

“If you are hungry, you should eat something, regardless of the time of day,” says Aimee Takamura, registered dietitian and director of wellness and sustainability at Restaurant Associates. “The act of eating late at night does not affect metabolism or lead to many of the adverse effects you may have heard of.

What should I eat at 3am when hungry? ›

Good options for a late-night snack include:
  • whole grain cereal with low‐fat milk.
  • plain Greek yogurt with fruit.
  • a handful of nuts.
  • whole wheat pita with hummus.
  • rice cakes with natural peanut butter.
  • apples with almond butter.
  • a low-sugar protein drink.
  • hard-boiled eggs.
Sep 14, 2018

Why am I craving late at night? ›

A study published in the most recent version of the journal Obesity found that the body's internal clock, the circadian system, increases hunger and cravings for sweet, starchy and salty foods in the evenings.

What causes late-night cravings? ›

Nutrition Deficiency

One of the most common causes of late-night cravings is the lack of nutritional food throughout the day. This is especially common in people who are overly restrictive in an attempt to lose weight or individuals who simply forget to eat throughout the day.

What food promotes sleep? ›

Here are the 9 best foods and drinks you can have before bed to enhance your quality of sleep.
  • Almonds. Almonds are a type of tree nut with many health benefits. ...
  • Turkey. Turkey is delicious and nutritious. ...
  • Chamomile tea. ...
  • Kiwi. ...
  • Tart cherry juice. ...
  • Fatty fish. ...
  • Walnuts. ...
  • Passionflower tea.

What can you eat before bed and not gain weight? ›

What to eat if you're hungry before bed and don't want to gain weight
  • A small bowl of plain yogurt topped with berries.
  • A low-fat, sugar-free protein shake.
  • A handful of nuts.
  • Two tablespoons of peanut or other nut butter and an apple.
  • Coconut yogurt topped with a handful of nuts or berries.
Mar 10, 2022

Is peanut butter a good late night snack? ›

Thanks to its impressive nutrient profile, some health advocates recommend eating peanut butter at night to support muscle growth, stabilize blood sugar levels, and improve sleep quality.

What should I do if I'm really hungry at night? ›

If you're so hungry that you can't go to bed, you can eat foods that are easy to digest and promote sleep. Stay away from large meals and spicy, sweet, or greasy foods before bedtime. Hunger at bedtime associated with malnutrition or overtiredness is problematic and should be addressed.

What is the healthiest thing to snack on? ›

Tips for Healthy Snacking
  • Fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Frozen fruit.
  • Fruits canned in water or their own juice.
  • Whole grain bread, crackers and cereals.
  • Lower fat yogurt.
  • Lower fat cheese.
  • Unsalted nuts and seeds and their butters.
  • Hummus.
Mar 1, 2021


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