17 Healthy and Nutritious Late-Night Snacks

Satisfy the midnight munchies with these nutritious nibbles

It's late at night and you're hungry. Maybe you've had a busy evening and just got home. Or perhaps you can't sleep because your stomach won't stop growling.

Whatever the reason, you're in the kitchen and need something healthy to eat—pronto. Search no more: These good-for-you late-night snack options are both satisfying and—bonus—loaded with nutrients that may even help promote sleep.


Ideas for Healthy Late-Night Snacks

Late Night Snacks

  • Cereal and milk
  • Bowl of berries
  • Peanut butter and jelly
  • Cheese and crackers
  • Yogurt and fruit
  • Turkey sandwich
  • Fresh veggies and dip
  • Popcorn
  • Fresh fruit and nuts
  • Oatmeal
  • Greens
  • Mediterranean nachos
  • Sour cherry juice
  • Scrambled eggs
  • Banana
  • Glass of milk
  • Pumpkin seeds

Cereal and Milk

bowl of cereal and milk

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You may reserve cereal for your morning meal. But it also can make a smart midnight snack that may help you sleep.

One study found that eating high-glycemic carbs—which many corn-based cereals are—before bed reduced the time it took for people to fall asleep.

Limit portion size (your entire snack should be under 300 calories), especially if you have problems with heartburn—heavy meals can exacerbate the problem. One cup of cornflakes has 100 calories, and a half-cup of skim milk has 45 calories.

Dairy products contain calcium, a mineral that plays a direct role in the production of the sleep hormone melatonin. Plus, it also acts as a natural relaxant in the body. 


A Bowl of Berries

bowl of blueberries

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When your sweet tooth needs satisfying, you can't beat a bowl of berries. Besides being loaded with fiber, which helps fill you up, berries contain magnesium, a mineral that relaxes nerves and muscles to speed slumber.

Serve your berries plain, or add some chopped nuts or granola, or a splash of milk.


Peanut Butter and Jelly

peanut butter and jelly sandwich

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Nighttime is the right time for this childhood favorite. Here's why: Certain foods, like peanut butter, contain an amino acid called tryptophan that gets converted in the brain to melatonin to promote sleepiness.

But carbohydrates like bread and jelly are needed to make tryptophan more available to the brain. Hence the reason why a PB&J is the perfect pairing for a pre-sleep snack, one that's also yummy and—if you opt for whole grain bread and natural PB free of added sugar (many brands are loaded with sweetener)—nutritious, too.


Cheese and Crackers

plate of cheese and crackers

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

When you're hungry for something savory at night, just say cheese and crackers. When planning your portion size, keep in mind that certain cheeses can be high in calories.

And opt for whole grain crackers, which contain filling fiber. If you need a little more volume to stay sated until morning, add some fresh grapes, apple slices, or fresh veggies.


Yogurt and Fruit

bowl of yogurt and fruit

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Yogurt is an excellent source of calcium, which has been linked to better sleep. Just be sure to read labels before you purchase it, because some varieties are high in added sugar. Opt for plain yogurt and add flavor with berries, chopped nuts, and antioxidant-rich honey.  


Turkey Sandwich

turkey sandwich

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

When only a sandwich will do, start with lean protein like turkey and whole grain bread and add a slice of tomato, some lettuce, and a little mayo or mustard. The combination of protein and complex carbs will send hunger pangs packing.

Just give yourself time to digest one half of the sandwich before starting in on the second. Sometimes being too full can keep you awake, too. 


Fresh Veggies and Dip

fresh veggies and dip

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

If you're craving something crunchy and low-cal, fresh veggies are the ticket. Any combination of raw carrots, broccoli florets, cucumber slices, celery, zucchini, peppers, and grape tomatoes will do nicely to help quell the rumbling in your stomach. Enhance the flavor—and get a healthy dose of z's-inducing calcium—with a dip made from plain low-fat cottage cheese or Greek yogurt.




Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Popcorn is a great p.m. snack because you can have a lot of it without eating too many calories. In fact, 3 cups of air-popped popcorn has fewer than 100 calories and about 4 grams of fiber to satisfy your hunger. If you want, you can skip the butter and mix it with dried spices instead for an extra flavor punch.


Fresh Fruit and Nuts

fresh fruit

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Neither fruit nor nuts require much effort to prepare, making this an ideal option when you're both hungry and tired. Plus, both fruit and nuts bring a lot of nutritional benefits to the table, including vitamins, minerals, protein, complex carbs, healthy fats, and fiber.

The upshot: They make for a nourishing combination that will keep you satisfied so you can fall asleep. 

Tasty pairings include an apple with a handful of almonds, a banana (a natural source of melatonin) and a dozen pecans, or a pear with a few walnuts.

If you're all out of nuts, you can spread 1 teaspoon of peanut butter on banana slices or dip your apple slices in almond butter. If your almond butter is too solid and thick for dipping, microwave 1 to 2 tablespoons for 30 seconds or until it's melted.



bowl of oatmeal

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

A warm, soothing bowl of oatmeal may be just the thing for a sleepless night. Oatmeal is an excellent source of filling fiber, including beta-glucan, which can help keep your cholesterol levels in check.

Many prefer steel-cut oats for their unique texture and flavor, but they take a long time to cook. Instead prepare plain instant oatmeal using fat-free or low-fat milk, 1 tablespoon of maple syrup, a sprinkle of cinnamon, and 1/4 cup unsweetened dried fruit.   


Salad Greens

Colander filled with green lettuces.

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Salad greens like lettuce are rich in a chemical called lactucopicrin, which some research may suggest could help induce sleep. And people have been using lettuce as a sleep aid for hundreds of years.

Lettuce and other greens are low in calories, which makes them a good choice for those watching their caloric intake. You can eat a salad with a little extra virgin olive oil to help with satiation. Or, if you want to, blend greens into a fruit smoothie.


Mediterranean Nachos

Pita chips in a shallow dish with a side of hummus topped with garnish.

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Top some toasted pita chips with hummus, a dash of paprika, and red pepper for a crunchy and satisfying late-night snack that might even help you fall asleep. Chickpeas, the primary ingredient in hummus, contain 220mg of tryptophan per 100g.


Tart Cherry Juice

Two glasses of cherry juice with cherries and two bamboo straws on the table.

In a study, the compounds contained in tart cherry juice increased the availability of sleep-inducing tryptophan. On top of that, some evidence suggests it may lower blood pressure and cholesterol, in addition to being an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory.

You can drink tart cherry juice on its own, or blend with other sleep-inducing ingredients listed here, like yogurt, greens, oatmeal, nuts, and fruits for a hunger-busting smoothie bowl.


Scrambled Eggs

Scrambled eggs on a white plate.

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Eggs have among the highest levels of melatonin among all animal products, along with fish. The protein content in eggs can also help increase satiety, helping stave off hunger pangs in the middle of the night.


Glass of milk

Full glass of milk on a marble surface.

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Whether you drink it warm or cold, a glass of milk before bed really can help you sleep. Milk has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties which can help improve the quality of sleep. Sleep-inducing amino acids like tryptophan are also found in milk.

Dairy milk is not the only type of milk shown to aid sleep. Soy milk is a good source of both melatonin and tryptophan. Plant-based milk made with nuts can confer the same benefits as whole nuts.



A single banana on a marble surface.

Getty Images.

Bananas are a good source of dietary melatonin. In one small study, those who ate a banana had a four-fold increase in serum melatonin level two hours after eating the fruit.

People have long believed that the potassium content of bananas helps inhibit muscle cramps, a problem some people have when they are trying to sleep. While bananas are great source of melatonin, newer research casts doubt on the theory that bananas reduce muscle cramps.


Pumpkin seeds

A small pile of pumpkin seeds on a marble surface.

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Pumpkin contains tryptophan which contributes to sleep. They also contain essential nutrients zinc, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, and magnesium. These can help combat illnesses related to inflammation.

A Word from Verywell

There are lots of reasons you might feel you need a late-night snack, and eating a snack can be a good way to get some additional nutrients into your day. Planning ahead can be the key to choosing snacks that may help you sleep while smashing hunger. If you find yourself reaching for a late-night snack often, consider keeping prepared snacks on hand so you choose something that will contribute to sleep rather than inhibit sleep.

13 Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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Additional Reading

By Shereen Lehman, MS
Shereen Lehman, MS, is a former writer for Verywell Fit and Reuters Health. She's a healthcare journalist who writes about healthy eating and offers evidence-based advice for regular people.