What should I eat before going to bed so that I don't wake up of being hungry?

Protein? Low GI carbs? Fat?

How much?

Which of these will stay in my stomach for 9 hours during the night?

I am on a diet - how can I avoid waking up due to hunger?

  • Well, it turns that I found out what I should not eat : melatonin. It seems that melatonin in the evening causes me to have hunger in the morning, strange, any idea why this might be?
    – jhegedus
    Commented Feb 29, 2016 at 12:30
  • I agree, I would say the same thing if it had not already been said Commented Feb 29, 2016 at 14:16

4 Answers 4


The book "Clinical Pharmacology of Sleep" says "A light carbohydrate snack before bed may promote sleep, but avoid eating large fatty meals before bedtime".

EDIT: If getting to sleep is not an issue, then perhaps what you want is food that will keep you satiated for longest. I think it is well established that, of all the food groups, it is protein that is best, but I'm afraid I don't have a reference for that.

  • Hi thanks for the answer. I don't have insomnia per se. My problem is that if I am on a diet then I wake up too early because I get so hungry in my sleep. I am trying to avoid this. Yesterday I ate some nuts and biscuits before going to sleep and I managed to sleep some 10 hours (I was kinda tired too).
    – jhegedus
    Commented Feb 28, 2016 at 9:59
  • This doesn't appear to answer the original question, which is about not waking up hungry, not about what foods promote sleep.
    – YviDe
    Commented Feb 29, 2016 at 5:54
  • @YviDe Yes, exactly. The point of the original question is how to be on a diet and still have a good night sleep.
    – jhegedus
    Commented Feb 29, 2016 at 13:22
  • @Mick, yes that is a good way to re-phrase the question. Probably protein with some kind of complex carbs, that was my guess too.
    – jhegedus
    Commented Feb 29, 2016 at 15:17

If you have problems sleeping due to hunger then either you are not eating enough, or there is a metabolic problem like diabetes or a thyroid problem that needs to be addressed by your doctor. If we assuming that there is no medical problem, then this means that you need to eat a lot more during the day. The best way to do that is to eat more at dinner, more during lunch and if needed eat another full lunch a few hours later. If you start to eat a meal just before sleeping that you are not at present eating, that may interfere with sleep; instead of waking up from hunger, you may wake up more frequently to go to the toilet.

My own routine to deal with having to eat a lot is as follows. I eat breakfast twice, when I wake up and two hours later. I eat lunch a few hour later. I'll eat lunch a second time 3 hours later. At dinner time I will eat a very large meal of around 1700 Kcal. Before I go to bed I'll eat a small meal. The total energy intake is around 3700 Kcal, this allows me to do my daily one hour of running while still having plenty of energy and not feeling hungry all the time.

What you should eat depends on your exercise routine. I do a lot of cardio exercise, that's why I take in a large chunk of my energy from carbs. Out of the 3700 Kcal, around 2300 Kcal comes from carbs, the rest comes from fats and protein.


I found out this week why hunger is waking me up - my stomach is extra long almost twice that of average. I just got it sleeved.

Here is a list of biodegradation of food. Pennington Biomedical Center has a scandinavian paper on that site that lists food satietis. White potatoes are tops.



High-protien meals or snacks will curve hunger. It can be a real nuisance waking up hungry. It takes a bit longer to digest, so the body and stomach don't feel the need to eat often. Avoid this though if you're hypoglycemic or diabetic, or have circulatory issues. Eating and sleeping before an hour of sleep is usually not a good idea if you have any of the above illnesses.

The reason I say that is because it can cause early onset of stomach ulcers, and gastroperesis which basically means your stomach does not release its contents into the upper intestine quick enough. Your stomach stays full of food and stomach acid. It will make you feel icky. Avoid heavily acidic food as well. Chili's, tomatoes, dairy. Nine hours is also a very long time for the stomach to be full. If you have the right diet, you can eventually get rid of that feeling.

That aside, bread is also something that can curve appetite. You could try a chicken sandwich. Lean cut beef sandwich. Black bean soup.

You should be able to Google more high protein meals.


That basically sums it up ^

  • 1
    Eating shortly before going to bed can cause ulcers and gastroperesis? I think you really need to back this up with some references.
    – YviDe
    Commented Mar 9, 2016 at 17:39
  • 1
    Along with the appropriate request for references on ulcers and gastroperesis, I would like to see evidence for the stomach remaining full for 9 hours. Digestion does not shut down while sleeping.
    – JohnP
    Commented Mar 9, 2016 at 17:51

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