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Cereal Before Bed – Should You Eat Cereals Before Sleep?

a profile image of TSA author Andjela

Written By Anđela Rajković

Certified Sleep Consultant

Featured image for eating cereals before bed.

1 April 2024 4 min read

Hey there cereal lovers! Happy National Cereal Day.

It is true – when we think about cereals, we usually think about foods that we typically eat in the morning, for breakfast per see. But there is nothing wrong with a bowl of cereal before your bedtime either! If you choose the right type of cereals as your bedtime snacks, trust us, you will be doing your body, mind, and sleep a favour!

Bedtime snack – cereals to the rescue!

Yes, cereals can be a great food to eat before bed. And, why? Well, cereals are typically made of oats, wheat, corn, barley, and rice – foods rich in tryptophan and melatonin! Tryptophan is an amino acid that helps with insomnia and various sleep disorders while melatonin is a hormone responsible for relaxing our bodies and minds. Moreover, if you choose whole-grain cereals, which are complex carbs by themselves, you won't have to worry about your blood sugar spikes either!

However, be warned – not all cereals will come with the benefits mentioned above. If you stuff your gob with sugary cereal, well, prepare for a night of restless sleep and, of course, for some weight gain.

An image of cereals.

What are ‘good' cereals

Let us make a distinction between good and bad cereals.

Namely, if you want to treat your body to something healthy and nutritious, something that will not affect your sleep (and your weight loss journey), you should opt for a healthy bowl of cereals. But, we have some not-so-good news when it comes to this one – a healthy bowl of cereal you cannot buy, rather, you have to make it yourself. Don't worry – doing this is easy. Just go to your local organic shop, and buy a bag of unprocessed oats.

An image of a bowl of cereals.

Oats are full of important nutrients our bodies need. In just one cup of cooked oats, you have 4 grams of fibre, 59% of the daily value (DV) for manganese, 23% for selenium, 21% for zinc, and 14% for phosphorus. They also have a good amount of magnesium and iron.

Oats are a great high-fibre cereal, low-sugar cereal, and weight management cereal! You can eat them on an empty stomach, after you've just been physically active, for your breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Moreover, oats are extremely versatile when it comes to combining them with other foods. Of course, they pair well with yoghurt and milk (or even with just water), but, you can be more creative and mix them with seeds, nuts, other grains, fruits, etc.

The best oatmeal recipe for a good night's sleep

If you want to have a nice sleep tonight, let this be your meal (or your small snack before bed).

Mix 50 grams of oats with 100 millilitres of water and bring to a boil. Cook for 5-10 minutes or until oats become really soft. Once they are cooked put some greek yoghurt and some cinnamon on top. And, if you want it to be sweeter, just add fruits on top. This meal has everything you need for a good night's sleep – protein, carbs, and fat.

What are ‘bad' cereals

We told you about the best cereal to eat at night, that is, before you go to bed. But, now, let us tell you about the worst one.

Namely, some types of cereals can be really bad for you. Usually, those are cereals that you buy at the store, ones that are pre-made. These types of cereals have a low fibre count and a high sugar content. In other words, these cereals won't do you any good. Yes, they will satisfy your sugar cravings, but they will also upset your stomach, they will raise your blood sugar, and as a result of all that, they will affect your sleep. Thus, don't include cereals in your bedtime routine before sleep.

An image of cereals.

The same thing applies to pre-made granola and granola bars. Both of these are full of added sugars. And, they lack the things you need to fall asleep – they have no protein and no healthy nutrients. So, they are not the foods you should be eating before bed (or any other time if you ask us).

Are late-night carbohydrates good for your sleep?

Don't be afraid of incorporating carbohydrates into your dinner meals. We need carbs for our health! Yes, eating only carbs is bad. But, if you mix your carbs (preferably your complex carbs) with foods rich in fibre, protein, and fats, you'll have a healthy meal every time.

Carbs won't affect your healthy nutrition, they won't affect your diet, and Cereal Before Bed won't affect your sleep as long as you choose the right carbs and as long as you pair them with the right foods.



So, should you eat cereal before bed? Yes, yes you should! Cereals have many benefits for us no matter when we eat them. Moreover, cereals can be a great choice for those who are trying to stay healthy and lose weight as well, so, don't be afraid of them. Feel free to incorporate them into your diet (and especially into your dinner meals).

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About the author

Anđela Rajković
As a CPD certified Sleep Consultant and well-practiced sleep enthusiast, I find a lot of joy in bringing my expertise to our readers – preferably those who love to sleep. With a background in the English language and literature and a love of research, I'm always seeking new ways to share the latest sleep science and bed-related findings. And, when I'm not connecting with my readers, you can find me exploring the great outdoors, or, well, curling up in bed.
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