The Best 15+ Healthiest Snacks to Eat Late at Night

  • Medical Reviewer: Dany Paul Baby, MD
Medically Reviewed on 7/20/2022

What are some healthy snacks for late-night eating?

When snacking choose snacks that are nutrient-rich, small, and have only a few calories when choosing food for late night. Some of the healthiest snacks for late-night eating include kiwis, baby carrots, Greek yogurt, and others.
When snacking choose snacks that are nutrient-rich, small, and have only a few calories when choosing food for late night. Some of the healthiest snacks for late-night eating include kiwis, baby carrots, Greek yogurt, and others.

It is not always a great idea to eat after a certain time of night. There is evidence that eating in close proximity to bedtime can impede digestion and cause weight gain

Of course, hunger happens. That is why it is important to select options that are nutrient-rich, small, and have only a few calories when choosing food for late night. Even if you are diabetic, snacking is not off-limits. These snacks can help to keep hunger down with minimal disruption to sleep

Whole grain, low salt pretzels: Pretzels are a whole-grain snack that gives energy. It also has staying power to help you feel full.

Kiwis: Kiwis have less than 100 calories, and have 5 grams of fiber, per serving. This fuzzy-skinned fruit is nutritious, packing 190% of the recommended daily intake of Vitamin C. This sweet and tart favorite can help you to sleep better as well. According to one study, they were shown to help adults who were having difficulties resting. 

Baby carrots: This snack is a good choice for diabetics. It is a low-calorie, low-carbohydrate snack that has nutritious levels of fiber and protein.

Greek yogurt: Greek yogurt is healthy and light, and it provides the body with protein and healthy fat while helping to fill you up. It is a great source of calcium, which keeps the bones strong and is linked to better sleep. The body needs calcium added to amino acids to make melatonin.

Whole grain toast and low sugar jam: Breakfast foods can be saved for a nutritious late-night snack. Toast is a low-carb treat that can help you to fill full but not overwhelmed.

Light popcorn: This is another diabetic-friendly option. 3/4 cup, or about  6 grams, of popcorn is a low-calorie, low-carb snack that can help to curb hunger.

Tart cherry juice: This tasty snack has anti-inflammatory properties that could offer protection from illnesses like heart disease and arthritis. Some studies suggest that this juice can also help you to fall asleep easier. 

Unsalted nuts: These make great snacks. They have beneficial nutrients and taste good. However, portion sizes of nuts like cashews, walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, and peanuts should be kept small because they do have a higher calorie count.

Sugar-free frozen popsicle: This sweet, diabetic-friendly treat does not have sugar to keep you up all night, and depending on fruit content, it can provide fiber as well.

Edamame: Fresh or frozen, these green and unripe soybeans are popular in Asian diets. Shelled edamame, fresh or thawed, is a good late-night snack with only 150 calories a serving. 

Hardboiled egg: This low-calorie, low cab favorite is high in protein and is diabetic-friendly.

Unsalted seeds: Sunflower, pumpkin, and other seeds are great snacks that provide varying nutritional benefits while being a low-carb choice that helps you to feel full. 

Salad greens with cucumber drizzled with oil and vinegar: This snack is diabetic-friendly, low-calorie, low-carbohydrate, and has high levels of fiber.

Whole grain low salt tortilla chips: This snack provides fiber, energy, and enough substance to help you to fill full. 

Light cheese sticks: Another diabetic-friendly snack, cheese is low-carb, low-calorie, a source of fiber, protein, and calcium.

Low sugar granola: This is another nutritional snack that can be enjoyed as a breakfast leftover. Granola is rich in fiber, protein, and micronutrients.

Banana with almond butter: A two-for-one, a banana with a tablespoon of almond butter that is unsweet has about 160 calories and could even help you to fall asleep.

Strawberries and Brie: Low in calories and sweet, fresh strawberries are a great source of Vitamin C. They can help you to fall asleep because they contain some melatonin. To help you feel fuller, add brie cheese for additional bulk and calcium. 

Peanut butter: The combination of something that contains healthy fat like peanut butter with something light and brisk like apple slices makes for a good combination of bulk and lightness to help keep you full. 

Hot Cereal: This is another breakfast remix that helps you to wind down at night. Whole-grain cereals that are served hot such as oatmeal and cream of wheat are good fiber sources. It is good alone, or with added nuts, fruit, or cinnamon for additional nutrients. In addition to filling you up, rice, oat, and barley cereals are a good natural source of melatonin.

Is there anything you should completely avoid at night?

To rest easily at night, the above snacks are light, nutritious, and provide just enough substance to keep you full. Anything high in sugar and fat, though, should be avoided to easily rest at night: for example, candy bars and ice cream. Two other substances you should steer clear of are:

  • Alcohol: Alcohol packs on extra calories and can disrupt your sleep cycle. It affects people differently. The relaxing effects felt before bed may seem to aid in falling sleep, but it can still make you jittery and affect how well you rest.
  • Caffeine: Caffeine disturbs your sleep cycle and contributes to weight gain. Also, don’t think avoiding coffee alone will keep caffeine out of your system. It is also found in carbonated drinks and other high-sugar juices. 

The goal of nighttime snacking is to keep the body as healthy as can be. Ideally, you should stop eating approximately 3 hours before laying down for bed. You want to allow your body plenty of time to digest all foods so you can sleep soundly. You also want to eliminate any acid reflux symptoms or vomiting from overeating and laying down. The 3-hour window also provides enough time for you to relax without feeling hungry before bed. 


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Medically Reviewed on 7/20/2022

Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition: Effect of kiwifruit consumption on sleep quality in adults with sleep problems.

Cleveland Clinic Health Essentials: "Is Eating Before Bed Bad for You?

Harvard Health Publishing: 7 ways to snack smarter.

Journal of Medicinal Foods: Effects of a tart cherry juice beverage on the sleep of older adults with insomnia: a pilot study.

Life Sciences Journal: Tryptophan hydroxylase is modulated by L-type calcium channels in the rat pineal gland.

Mayo Clinic: Late-night eating: OK if you have diabetes? "Edamame."

Nutrients Journal: Dietary Sources and Bioactivities of Melatonin.

US Department of Agriculture: "Bananas, ripe and slightly ripe, raw."