High Protein Food Before Bed

Our diet plays a significant role in our quality of life. Sleep is just as important; it is responsible for maintaining and regulating the functions of human physiology.2 To sustain the function of the body while the body is at rest, the body needs nourishment - hence, to maintain it, certain nutrients are required, like proteins and carbohydrates.

A recommended amount of protein is one gram per kg of body weight. A higher protein diet helps to reduce fat and therefore works against becoming overweight, and has a beneficial role in controlling blood pressure, blood lipids, and inflammation.3 Some benefits of eating protein include: 

  • Prevents obesity, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, and heart diseases
  • Exerts a satiety effect more than the other macronutrients
  • When paired with exercise such as strength training, a high protein intake maintains a lean body and stores energy. A high-protein diet is essential for muscle building.3

Is it good to eat high-protein foods before bed?

Yes, it is good to eat high-protein foods, as these are associated with weight control, blood pressure, and sleep (serotonin secretion). High-protein foods are easily digested and absorbed by the body during the night.

Eating protein before bed aids in controlling blood glucose, is beneficial for weight loss, body composition, glycemic control, and specific blood lipids. Studies have shown that higher protein intake regulates insulin secretion and controls diabetes.4

High-protein foods to eat before bed

  • Fish - it consists of vitamin D and omega-3, which helps to regulate serotonin
  • Fruits- fruits like cherries and kiwi promote sleep. Both kiwi and cherries promote total sleeping time (TST) and sleep efficiency (SE)
  • Tofu - it is a good source of protein, and contains 9 essential amino acids. It is also anti-cancerous and protects against heart diseases by improving blood flow
  • Yoghurt- low in carbohydrates and high in protein, yoghurt increases the production of the GLP-1 hormone, which promotes sleep
  • Eggs - these are a very good source of essential nutrients, consisting of good cholesterol and protein
  • Nuts - nuts are rich in antioxidants, which help control blood pressure, reduce inflammation, and prevent cardiovascular diseases. Nuts usually consist of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), linoleic acid, and monounsaturated fatty acids MUFA (oleic acid), all of which help in cholesterol and weight control7 
  • Lentils - red, green, and black lentils have a high amount of protein. They help to control cholesterol levels, and provide about 62% of dietary fibre

It should be noted that eating anything too close to when you go to bed may disrupt your sleep, as your body is provided with energy late in the day, meaning it may not be as sleep-ready as it should be.


High-protein foods before bed aid in the body’s natural recovery processes and promote a good night’s sleep. Protein increases the production of the GLP-1 hormone, which helps us sleep and recover. They are a much better alternative than high-sugar carbohydrates, which give the body a quick boost of energy and therefore make you less tired. 


  1. Binks H, E. Vincent G, Gupta C, Irwin C, Khalesi S. Effects of diet on sleep: a narrative review. Nutrients. 2020;12(4):936.
  2. Grandner MA, Alfonso-Miller P, Fernandez-Mendoza J, Shetty S, Shenoy S, Combs D. Sleep: important considerations for the prevention of cardiovascular disease. Current Opinion in Cardiology. 2016;31(5):551.
  3. Astrup A, Raben A, Geiker N. The role of higher protein diets in weight control and obesity-related comorbidities. International journal of obesity. 2015;39(5):721-6.
  4. Abbie E, Francois ME, Chang CR, Barry JC, Little JP. A low-carbohydrate protein-rich bedtime snack to control fasting and nocturnal glucose in type 2 diabetes: A randomized trial. Clinical Nutrition. 2020;39(12):3601-6.
  5. St-Onge M-P, Mikic A, Pietrolungo CE. Effects of diet on sleep quality. Advances in nutrition. 2016;7(5):938-49.
  6. Eze NM, Okwume UG, Eseadi C, Udenta EA, Onyeke NG, Ugwu EN, et al. Acceptability and consumption of tofu as a meat alternative among secondary school boarders in Enugu State, Nigeria: Implications for nutritional counseling and education. Medicine. 2018;97(45).
  7. Blomhoff R, Carlsen MH, Andersen LF, Jacobs DR. Health benefits of nuts: potential role of antioxidants. British Journal of Nutrition. 2006;96(S2):S52-S60.
  8. Chelladurai V, Erkinbaev C. Lentils.  Pulses: Springer; 2020. p. 129-43.
  9. Dahl WJ, Foster LM, Tyler RT. Review of the health benefits of peas (Pisum sativum L.). British Journal of Nutrition. 2012;108(S1):S3-S10.
  10. Richardson DP, Astrup A, Cocaul A, Ellis P. The nutritional and health benefits of almonds: a healthy food choice. Food Sci Technol Bull Funct Foods. 2009;6:41-50.
  11. Ngan A, Conduit R. A double‐blind, placebo‐controlled investigation of the effects of Passiflora incarnata (Passionflower) herbal tea on subjective sleep quality. Phytotherapy Research. 2011;25(8):1153-9.
This content is purely informational and isn’t medical guidance. It shouldn’t replace professional medical counsel. Always consult your physician regarding treatment risks and benefits. See our editorial standards for more details.

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Srishti Dixit

Masters of Science in Biomedical Engineering, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow

Hi! My name is Srishti Dixit I am currently doing my masters in Biomedical Engineering. I have always been inclined towards research and scientific writing since my bachelors. Sharing knowledge about health and healthy lifestyle and alarming people about it is important. A healthy mindset and body is always a first step to positivity. Reading articles spread awareness and encouragement to follow a healthy lifestyle.

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