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Andrea Wilcox(Registered Dietitian)answered(6/15/2012)It's not unhealthy as long as you aren't adding a lot of extra calories to your daily intake. If you had healthy meals throughout the day without overeating and are hungry at night, a healthy snack right before bed won't harm you.
Peggy Korody, RD, CLT(Registered Dietitian)answered(6/15/2012)No, but it should be a healthy snack, something with a protein and carb. Like nuts and fruit, or cheese and whole wheat cracker. Often diabetics have this type of snack before sleep to help keep their blood sugar stable over night.
Jacqueline Aizen(Registered Dietician)answered(9/2/2012)I would also add that it would be best to keep it light as consuming too much food before your date with Mr. Sandman can disrupt your sleep. Keep in mind that as the body prepare for sleep, digestion slows down so eating too much can cause discomfort.There are some factors to consider: *If you workout in the evening then make sure you have a light snack/meal post workout consisting of some lean protein and unrefined starch: 1/2 cup quinoa+8 oz low fat Greek yogurt cup or 1 slice of whole grain toast and 2 Tbs hummus for example. *Diabetics should have a snack consisting of a starch and protein about half hour before bedtime to insure stable blood glucose levels throughout the night. *If you suffer from GERD (gastro-esophageal reflux disease) keep it very light and wait a few hours if possible after a light snack before snoozing; otherwise the food may travel back up from the stomach into your esophagus causing heartburn, or heaven forbid possible choking)
In general bedtime snacks shouldn't be too fatty, heavy in protein (small piece of cheese or some low fat yogurt is ok) sodium-rich (you may wake up looking and feel a bit bloated) and should consist of carbohydrates. Carbohydrates can increase levels of tryptophan, a precursor for the "happy chemical" serotonin, and can contribute to feeling more relaxed.