What to do if I’m hungry at night? 8 tips on eating before bed
When you get the late night munchies, it’s hard not to get up and carry out a midnight raid on the refrigerator. You get that overwhelming feeling of hunger, your stomach growls and even if you do try and get back to sleep, all you can think about is food. If you’re dieting, then your body releases a hormone called Ghrelin in response to your fasting and this is what causes those intense feelings of hunger, but you’ll be relieved to know that there are things that you can do to ward off the late night munchies, so read our eight tips on how to deal with them:
1. Think about something else!
It might sound easier than it really is, but replacing the thoughts of food with thoughts about a favorite activity can take your mind off the hunger pangs. A study found that if you think really hard and imagine that you are actually doing an activity that you enjoy, then the thoughts of that activity will ease the craving.
2. Drink a cup of chamomile tea
If you feel hungry at night drink a cup of chamomile tea, it will help you to forget about your food cravings and the relaxing ritual of tea drinking will prepare you for a good night sleep.
3. Beat the before bed cravings
If your cravings are hitting you, even before you go to bed, then the best way not to succumb to them is to occupy your mind fully. Watching TV doesn’t really do the job though, as your mind can wander, it will need to be something that you can really focus on like reading, meditation or doing a jigsaw. If you’re bored, you are more likely to snack.
4. Beat the sugar cravings
Sugar cravings can be the worst and they will have you reaching for the cookie jar or candy before you have even realized that you are doing it. Apparently, the smell of vanilla or jasmine can curb the cravings for sugar, so try putting a vanilla scented air freshener in your home or burning vanilla scented candles to curb your appetite for a sweet snack.
5. Eat later
When you are sleepy, your willpower is lower and so you will give in to the hunger pangs more easily; resist the hunger early in the evening and put back your dinner time by one or two hours, so that you are fuller when you go to bed. That way you should sleep better and not get the late night cravings.
6. Eat a healthy late night snack
There’s nothing wrong in eating a late night snack, so long as you eat the right things and don’t eat too much. You can beat the hunger with a snack of some raw vegetables like carrots, pears or apples, which are high in fibre, so they will fill you up, and it will remove the urge to eat something less healthy. Best foods to eat before bed also include: yogurt, kefir, watermelon, melon, popcorn, warm milk, vegetable soup, blueberries, cherries, banana, cottage cheese, sweet potato, oatmeal, lettuce, celery…but make sure to eat a small portion.
7. Brush your teeth
A good way to ward off the desire to eat, if not the hunger itself, is to brush your teeth early, perhaps straight after dinner. You really won’t feel like eating afterwards, because you won’t want to have to brush your teeth again, and the taste of toothpaste in your mouth will give you a bit of the sweetness that you may be craving.
8. Improve your sleeping habits
It might not be the hunger that’s waking you up, it could be that you’re waking up for other reasons and then, you notice the hunger. Go to bed at the same time every night and get into a regular sleeping pattern; also, avoid drinking too much caffeine during the day. If you do wake up in the night, try a glass of water instead of food, because you might be mistaking thirst for hunger.
What do you do when you feel hungry at night? Do you have some other eating before bed tips? Please, feel free to share them in the comment section below.
Stay happy and healthy!