5 Best Bedtime Snacks For Diabetics

5 best bedtime snacks for diabetics

If you have diabetes, you know that it is important to eat the right foods at the right time. Eating unhealthy snacks before bed can cause fluctuations in your blood sugar levels and make it difficult to get a good night's sleep. 

That’s why we have compiled a list of five great bedtime snacks for diabetics that will keep your blood sugar levels manageable.

These healthy snacks will help you wind down after a long day and ensure that you get a good night's sleep.

  1. Bowl of oatmeal
    Oatmeal has numerous health benefits and can be an excellent choice for diabetics, as long as portion control is maintained.

    Oatmeal is packed with fiber and complex carbohydrates making it a great option for healthy diabetic snacks. These nutrients will help to regulate your blood sugar levels. Cooked oatmeal has 30 grams of carbohydrates per cup, making it a suitable carbohydrate source for diabetics.

  2. Nuts and seeds
    Nuts contain some carbohydrates making it one of the best bedtime snacks for diabetic, but they're balanced out with a healthy quantity of fat, so your blood sugar won't spike excessively.

    If you're allergic to nuts, try substituting seeds like pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds. Look for raw or dry-roasted seeds that have not been treated with oils or sweeteners.

  3. Fruits that are low in sugar and have a low glycemic index
    Fruits that have low sugar content and low glycemic index (GI) are also good bedtime snacks for diabetics. It is a good source of fiber and nutrients that will help regulate your blood sugar levels and keep you feeling full throughout the night.

    Lower GI fruits include berries, plums, kiwi fruit, and grapefruit. While higher GI fruits include bananas, oranges, mango, grapes, raisins, dates, and pears.

  4. Greek yogurt
    The low carbohydrate and high protein composition of plain, low-fat, or nonfat Greek yogurts make it a great choice as a bedtime snack for diabetics.

    Although Greek yogurt has less calcium than regular yogurt, it is nevertheless a good source of calcium. It also has a low glycemic index.

  5. Whole-grain toast with peanut butter
    These diabetic snacks provide complex carbohydrates and healthy fats, which will help keep your blood sugar levels stable throughout the night.

    Just choose a natural peanut butter with no added sugars or artificial sweeteners to make sure they are a diabetic friendly snacks.

What happens to a person's blood sugar levels overnight? 

best bedtime snacks for diabetics

During sleep a person's blood sugar levels fluctuate primarily due to two processes: 

The dawn phenomenon: Our blood sugar levels spike between 3 am to 8 am as part of the waking up process. This results in high blood sugar levels in the morning\. 

The Somogyi phenomenon. Blood glucose levels significantly drop at around 2-3 am. The body releases hormones in response, which raises blood sugar levels once more. It can cause high blood sugar levels in the morning due to the release of too many hormones. The Somogyi effect can be reduced by having a pre-bedtime snack to stabilize blood sugar levels. 

People with diabetes can track their nightly glucose levels by taking readings before bed, between 2:00 and 3:00 am, and when they first awaken in the morning. 

The first step to making healthy snacks for the evening and before bed is to learn how your body processes blood sugar. A healthy diet might include a variety of healthy snacks before bedtime.

How To Avoid High Blood Sugar Levels At Night 

The following are the most effective methods of avoiding blood sugar rises overnight: 

  1. Keep high-fat meals out of your diet later in the evening. Because of the high-fat content, a delayed surge in blood sugar (more than 15-20g) can occur. 
  2. Consume good bedtime snacks for diabetics that contain complex carbohydrates, protein, and low-fat foods to help you sleep better. 
  3. Take an evening walk after dinner.

Key Takeaways

good bedtime snacks for diabetics

When you have diabetes, it might be challenging to find diabetic friendly snacks. Choosing snacks high in fiber, protein, and healthy fats is essential. Maintaining a healthy blood sugar level is easier with the support of these nutrients. 

It's also crucial to snack on nutrient-dense foods, these are the best bedtime snacks for diabetics. Research supports that diabetic snacks would make a good bedtime snack if they contain the following: 

  • Low carbohydrates
  • Low added sugar
  • Healthy fats
  • High levels of protein

Foods with this composition may help minimize nighttime blood glucose increases and lower morning blood glucose levels.

But of course we recommend working with your healthcare provider to build a specific meal plan that includes snacks and timing.