It’s common knowledge that you shouldn’t go to bed right after indulging in a late-night snack—or so we thought. From disrupting your sleep cycle to causing heartburn, acid reflux, and weight gain, this “bad” eating habit has long been considered a no-no in the health community—which is why we were surprised to find a sleep expert who actually recommends chowing down before hitting the hay.
“There are definitely snacks you can eat and still get the right amount of sleep,” Shea Morrison, a Brisbane-based sleep expert and founder of , said . In fact, certain foods can actually aid the body’s recovery process and help you fall asleep faster, namely, cottage cheese, porridge, a ham-and-cheese roll, or a sliced banana.
Morrison even suggests eating some carbs before bed, specifically a “sleep sandwich” made with bananas, lettuce, bread, and the British food spread Marmite. While this may sound like an odd combination, bananas and Marmite both contain “natural substances that help induce sleep” while lettuce has long been considered a sleep aid by the Romans. Word to the wise: It’s still best to avoid heavy meals, protein-packed foods, meat, and alcohol before bed—all of these “will sit in your stomach longer than you need them to,” says Morrison.
Do you have a go-to snack to help you fall asleep? Share your recommendations below, and if food doesn’t do the trick for you.