Bananas are such an amazing fruit
Eating a banana before bed is a healthy and natural remedy. It helps you to both fall asleep and stay asleep later at night.
One of the main causes of sleep problems is mineral deficiency, and a banana is full of nutrients that will help you get the rest you need.
This fruit includes magnesium, potassium, vitamins, as well as an amino acid called tryptophan.
Experts say that consuming the right food before going to bed has its benefits. However, there are a few things you need to keep in mind when doing so.
Is It Bad to Eat Before Bed?
Eating before bed is defined as the time between dinner and bedtime.
This has become a hot topic in nutrition, as there is evidence for both sides.
Conventional wisdom says that doing so causes weight gain because your metabolism slows during the night as you sleep. Eating right before bed should in turn cause undigested calories which are stored as fat.
However, many nutrition experts say that eating before bed is perfectly fine.
In addition, depending on what you consume, you may even experience improvements to your sleep and weight loss.
How Long Should You Wait to Lay Down After Eating?
Generally speaking, laying down after eating is not recommended by experts for the first 3 hours after your meal. The same applies to eating in bed.
That is because doing so may cause indigestion due to the rise of stomach acid.
This is especially important for those who suffer from GERD, also known as Gastroesophaegeal Reflux Disease.
How Long Should You Wait to Sleep After Eating?
The general rule of thumb from nutritionists state that you should wait about three hours after having your last meal.
Doing so will allow your body to digest the food and move it to your small intestine. This will prevent problems like heartburn or even insomnia during the night.
However, what you eat or drink plays the most important role here rather than the time.
A great example would be drinking a banana tea instead of having a cup of coffee before bed.
While coffee is one of the foods that keep you awake at night, the magnesium, potassium, and tryptophan in bananas do the opposite.
What About Eating in The Middle of The Night?
The same applies here as above. It is more about what you eat or drink rather than the time of day.
A banana at night is almost never a bad idea.
When Is The Best Time To Eat Bananas?
So, when should you eat a banana?
The best time of day to eat a banana depends on your preference and nutritional needs.
A banana in the morning provides energy for the day, but bananas before bed consumed in the right way and time help enhance your sleep.
Therefore, there is no overall best time to eat bananas.
Benefits of Eating A Banana Before Bed
As mentioned earlier, one of the main causes for sleep problems is mineral deficiency.
By eating a banana before bed, you will increase your nutrient intake and therefore enhance the quality of your sleep.
The main components found inside a banana that help you sleep are magnesium, potassium, the amino acid tryptophan and vitamin B.
Let’s have a look at each of them in detail!
One of the main reasons that a banana at night make good snacks before bed is that they contain high amounts of magnesium.
Magnesium has a neuroprotective effect on your body, allowing your muscles to relax during the night. It also helps lower your brain temperature and regulate your hormones.
Symptoms of magnesium deficiency include difficulty falling asleep, experiencing frequent night cramps, and some cases of restless leg syndrome.
Similar to magnesium, potassium also improves your sleep by relaxing your muscles and nerves.
In addition, it also helps regulate your blood pressure and promotes a healthy digestion. A banana is not the richest in potassium. However, it still contains more than enough to reap its benefits on your sleep.
Having a potassium deficiency may lead to muscle fatigue, cramping and heart irregularities.
Tryptophan is the amino acid which the body uses to produce serotonin and melatonin. Both take a very important role in regulating different human functions.
While serotonin regulates your mood, melatonin takes care of your circadian rhythm (or in other words sleep patterns). It also controls your body temperature and hormone release during the night.
A medium-sized banana contains approximately 11 milligrams of it, and the recommended daily intake is for adults is 250 milligrams.
Now you are probably asking yourself: “How many bananas can you eat in a day?”
Don’t worry, you will consume the remaining required tryptophan through protein-based foods or dietary proteins throughout the day.
If you consume too little tryptophan, you may experience insomnia and other side effects, such as depression.
Vitamins before bed are reported to encourage a good night’s sleep. However, the most valuable for your rest are the B vitamins. That is because they help your body to produce tryptophan, as well as serotonin and melatonin.
In fact, one big banana provides half of the daily necessary intake of vitamin B6.
Better Sleep is the Foundation for a Better Day
Everyone has people in their circle who claim that they sleep best after consuming a large and heavy meal. Some even say they feel great after drinking coffee at night.
Our bodies are unique, and we all react differently to substances depending on our lifestyles and genetics.
However, if you find yourself constantly tossing and turning during the night, it may be wise to consider eating bananas before bed.
Many often forget how important a good night’s sleep is.
The better you sleep, the more refreshed you will be the next morning. In turn, the better you feel in the morning, the more energized you will be to tackle life’s daily challenges.
Other Good Bedtime Snacks
Does warm milk help you sleep?
A banana at night has a similar effect to the old advice about drinking a glass of warm milk before sleeping. This drink is also full of tryptophan, calcium and other minerals that calm the body.
Oatmeal is high in carbs and fiber. Carbs before bed are reported to induce drowsiness if you have some before bed.
In addition, oats are a great source of melatonin, the sleep inducing hormone.
Eating peanut butter at night is great as it is full of tryptophan. In addition, it is also well-known for boosting your metabolism, allowing you to burn more calories as you sleep.
Eating peanut butter before bed on oatmeal with some slices of banana is one of our favorites.
Our Banana Recipes – Best Snacks to Eat Before Bed
Bananas are great snacks before bed. They make a great base for a smoothie, cookie or even tea.
Below are three recipes we think are best to truly make use of the sleep inducing effects of a banana.
We highly recommend for you to give them a shot.
Banana Tea For Sleep
Many are unaware of the fact that the banana peel is also edible. In fact, it is packed with more nutrients that the fruit itself.
Instead of throwing it away, you can boil the banana for its sleep benefits.
Fun fact: cinnamon is yet another type of food which is beneficial to your sleep. It is the best bedtime snack to lower blood sugar levels. By doing so, it allows your hormones to function better.
Combine the peel with a hint of cinnamon and you have the perfect night-time beverage.
- 1 Banana
- 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon of honey or agave syrup (optional)
- Cut both ends of the banana.
- Boil the entire banana including the peel for approximately 10 minutes.
- Add cinnamon as desired. We recommend at least 1 teaspoon.
- Pour your tea in a cup and add more cinnamon if desired for a better sleep effect.
Late Night Smoothie
Who doesn’t love a great smoothie? Blended together with other sleep inducing ingredients, our recipe is the perfect smoothie before bed.
- ½ cup/250 ml of warm milk
- 1 Banana
- 1 teaspoon of a sweetener
- ¼ teaspoon of nutmeg
- ½ cup/100g of pitted cherries (optional)
- 1 teaspoon of flax seeds
- ½ cup/50g of almonds or almond flakes
- 1 teaspoon of cacao powder
- Place all ingredients in your blender.
- Blend for around 30 – 45 seconds.
- Pour the smoothie in a glass.
- (Optional) Add pitted cherries, flax seeds, almonds and/or cacao powder on top. That all depends on how you like it.
Banana Oatmeal Cookies
Oatmeal before bed is yet another great natural source for the sleep inducing hormone melatonin.
If you prefer a snack over a beverage, these won’t disappoint you.
- 2 Bananas
- 1 cup/100g of oats
- ½ cup/50g of raisins and/or nuts (optional)
- 1 teaspoon of cinnamon (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 360°F/180°C.
- Mash the bananas and mix in the oats until well blended.
- Add a handful of the optional ingredients such as raisins and nuts, or add a teaspoon of cinnamon to give the cookies that extra flavor.
- Grab a tray and place a baking sheet on top. With a spoon, create cookie shapes with a decent amount of mixture. This mix will make up to 9-11 banana oatmeal cookies.
- Place in the oven for 15-20 minutes.