Healthy Late Night Snacks: What To Eat At Night When Hungry

Are you looking to eat something at night if you’re hungry after dinner? 

While most people believe that eating after dinner is a big no-no, some late-night snacks can prevent you from feeling hungry the following day or promote good quality sleep. 

However, before you indulge in a late-night snack, it’s important to determine why you are in need of one. 

Is it because you are not having enough food at dinner? Or is it because you are feeling stressed? 

Once you determine the reason, you can work on the root cause to prevent you from relying on having a snack every time late at night. 

With that said, if you are still hungry and looking for healthy snack options to eat late at night, you’ve come to the right place. 

Here, we’ll go over 10 healthy snacks you can eat at night when you’re hungry. 

10 Healthy Late-Night Snacks

Feeling a bit peckish before bedtime? Here are the best healthy late-night snacks you can include. 

1) Golden milk 

We couldn’t start this list of healthy late-night snacks without golden milk. This relaxing recipe is high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. 

In fact, animal studies have shown that curcumin can help lower anxiety levels, promoting better sleep. 

To make golden milk, you’ll need:

  • coconut milk (or almond milk)
  • turmeric powder
  • ginger powder
  • ghee (or coconut oil)
  • black pepper
  • the sweetener of choice

If you need an extra boost to improve sleep, you can try adding ashwagandha. This is a powerful adaptogen that can reduce stress and promote sleep. Just make sure you consult with a doctor before adding a new supplement. 

2) Tart cherries with cottage cheese 

Tart cherries, or tart cherry juice, have sleep aid properties. 

Evidence suggests that people who included tart cherry juice before sleep increased their sleep by nearly 1.5 hours. 

According to research, cherries can help increase melatonin levels (sleep-promoting hormone). 

Now, you can have tart cherries (or juice) alone. But you can always add some cottage cheese to help increase fullness levels. 

Cottage cheese is high in tryptophan, an amino acid that can also help promote good sleep. 

3) Banana and almond butter 

Bananas can be a delicious sweet treat to have before going to bed. Research shows that they can also help increase melatonin levels and promote a good night’s sleep. 

However, since bananas are considered simple sugars, it’s best to combine them with a protein or healthy fat to prevent spiking your glucose and allow you to have more stable energy levels. 

Another food that can increase melatonin levels is almonds. So, there is no better late-night snack combo than banana and almond butter. 

My favorite way to have them is to create banana sandwiches. 

Cut the bananas into slices, place some almond butter between two slices, and dip the sandwich in some dark chocolate. 

Place them in the freezer, and a healthy snack is available when craving something sweet and healthy. 

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4) Overnight oats 

Overnight oats are the perfect meal to have in case of emergency. You can create them the day before or early in the morning and have something ready to eat after dinner. 

To make them, add in a jar:

  • Rolled oats
  • Milk
  • Vanilla
  • Your favorite sweetener

I always recommend adding half a scoop of protein powder to increase fullness levels and help balance the meal. You can also add some berries or nuts on top. 

What makes them a great option is that oats are high in magnesium, which can help relax muscles and promote a good night’s sleep. 

In addition, as mentioned before, milk is high in tryptophan, which can also promote sleep. 

5) Popcorn 

People often think that popcorn is not a healthy snack option. However, if you choose natural popcorn, it can be a great crunchy snack before bedtime. 

One of the benefits of popcorn is that it is high in fiber. Not only can it promote good digestion and improve bowel movements, but it can also increase fullness levels. This will help you from going to bed hungry. 

Make sure you stick to natural popcorn to avoid adding too many calories and unhealthy ingredients. 

If you want to add some flavor, add some olive oil (in moderation) and herbs or spices. 

6) Pumpkin seeds

Pumpkin seeds are another food that is high in magnesium. In fact, one ounce of pumpkin seeds provides roughly 18% of the daily recommended magnesium intake. 

Thanks to its muscle-relaxing effects, it can create a calming state and make it easier to go to sleep. 

In addition, pumpkin seeds are also high in tryptophan, which can help improve sleep quality. 

Try placing them in the air fryer or oven for a delicious, crunchy snack before bed. You can add ghee, parmesan cheese, and oregano to boost flavor. 

7) Edamame 

Another great late-night snack option that is quick and easy to make is edamame. You can buy them cooked, and you can simply add some salt to enjoy. 

I also love having them with some chili flakes, low-sodium soy sauce, and ginger. This Asian-style version is something worth trying. 

Or, if you are looking for something crunchy, you can toss them in the air fryer, and you’ll have a healthy late-night snack in a matter of minutes. 

Since they are high in protein and low in carbs, it makes them a great option if you want to increase your tryptophan levels before bedtime. 

8) String cheese 

A cheese stick is a great option if you don’t want to prepare something very elaborate. You only need to grab the string cheese from the fridge, remove it from the packaging, and it’s ready to eat. 

Thanks to its high protein content, it can increase fullness levels without making you feel very stuffed. And you can add other ingredients, such as nuts or vegetable sticks. 

But make sure you know which string cheese to select. Options that are high in fat can make you feel heavy, and it might disrupt your sleep. 

Look for the low-fat options, or when checking the nutritional label, make sure it has more protein than fats. 

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9) Greek yogurt with berries

Greek yogurt is high in key ingredients that can help promote a good night’s sleep. It is high in calcium, casein, and tryptophan. 

In addition, berries (blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, and strawberries) are high in antioxidants, which can help reduce inflammation. 

One of the things I love about Greek yogurt is that you can create several different meals with the same ingredients. 

For example, you can have natural (or flavored) Greek yogurt with some berries on top. But, it can easily be converted into a delicious healthy ice cream when you place it in the freezer. 

You can also spread Greek yogurt with berries on a pan sheet and place it in the freezer to make some Greek yogurt barks. 

10) Hummus with carrot sticks 

The last healthy late-night snack option is hummus with carrot sticks. Chickpeas are a great complex carb, and they are also a great source of protein. They can increase fullness levels and make it easier to go to bed. 

Instead of having them with whole grain crackers, try eating them with some vegetable sticks to prevent adding too many carbs and calories before bedtime. 

Is It Healthy To Eat At Night If You’re Hungry?

Yes, late-night snacks are healthy if you are hungry. They can make it easier to go to bed and avoid tossing and turning because you are hungry. 

However, make sure your last meal is at least 2 hours before bedtime. This allows enough time for your body to digest the foods and prevent going to bed with a full stomach. 

What Nutrients Should You Focus On?

Most people believe that eating at night is not healthy. Some say that eating at night can slow down your metabolism or make you gain weight. 

However, as long as you meet your caloric needs, you’ll be fine. 

So, if you are going to include a late-night snack, what nutrients should you focus on?

  • Complex carbs. These are commonly found in whole grains, beans, lentils, chickpeas, quinoa, corn, and oatmeal. Since they take longer to digest, they provide a stable energy source. Including simple carbs (sugars, sweets, candies, white bread, and white pasta) can spike your sugar levels, creating an energy spike that can affect your sleep. 
  • Lean protein. Protein can also help increase fullness, and some amino acids can help improve the quality of sleep and mood. 
  • Healthy fats. Just like protein, fats can help increase fullness levels. However, make sure you don’t add too much fat before bedtime. It can make you feel stuffed and make it more challenging to sleep. You can end up tossing and turning all night. 

The power combo for the best late-night snacks is complex carbs and protein. They will provide stable energy levels and won’t make you feel so full before sleeping. However, you can focus on only one or add some healthy fats. 


Late-night snacking doesn’t have to be bad. If you manage to control the calories throughout the day, they can help promote a good night’s sleep and prevent you from waking up hungry. 

Make sure you eat at least 2 hours before bedtime to avoid going to bed with a full stomach, and include high protein foods and complex carbs to avoid any sudden energy spike.

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