Many people with diabetes deliberately nosh at night to keep glucose levels from plummeting while they sleep. A snack before bed isn’t a bad impulse, says Dr. Fran Cogen, MD, director of the childhood and adolescent diabetes program at Children’s National Health System. But the wrong kind of snack can actually make things worse. Instead of high-carb fare like chips, “aim for a bedtime snack of protein plus carbohydrate,” she says.
Also keep in mind that blood sugar levels are highly individual and will vary based on how active you are each day. So before you hit the kitchen, it’s best to test your glucose level—and you should log your results in your diabetes and blood sugar app if you're using one. Then choose diabetes-friendly foods that contain an ideal mix of protein and carbs, skipping even sugar-free desserts if it's close to bedtime. Looking for more healthy pre-bedtime snack ideas? We've got you covered with these research and expert-backed ideas.
Best Bedtime Snack Ideas
10 Goldfish crackers + 1/2 cup skim milk
String cheese + whole-grain crackers
Apple slices + peanut butter
Hummus + raw veggies
1/4 cup cottage cheese + 1/2 cup berries
Related: What is Prediabetes?
Other Snack Ingredients for Diabetics
The probiotics in yogurt are thought to give this protein-packed food a lowering effect on blood sugar. Opt for Greek yogurt, which has even more protein than traditional yogurt, with a side of fiber-packed berries for a snack before bed.
Studies have shown that monounsaturated fatty acids—like those found in avocados—can help maintain adequate glycemic control, effectively improving sugar levels in those with Type 2 diabetes. Given that, whip out your best guacamole recipe for any anytime snack for diabetics.
Once you've prepared your bedtime snack, why not try these ways to sleep better tonight.
Dr. Fran Cogen, MD, director of the childhood and adolescent diabetes program at Children’s National Health System
Diabetes Care: "Metabolic Effects of Monounsaturated Fatty Acid-Enriched Diets Compared With Carbohydrate or Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid-Enriched Diets in Patients With Type 2 Diabetes: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials"
The Journal of Nutrition: "Yogurt and Diabetes: Overview of Recent Observational Studies"
Advances in Nutrition: "Dairy Foods and Dairy Proteins in the Management of Type 2 Diabetes: A Systematic Review of the Clinical Evidence"
The British Journal of Nutrition: "Egg consumption as part of an energy-restricted high-protein diet improves blood lipid and blood glucose profiles in individuals with type 2 diabetes"
Journal international de vitaminologie et de nutrition: "Dietary proteins in obesity and in diabetes"