Mary Ellen Phipps

Mary Ellen Phipps

Mary Ellen Phipps, the founder of Milk & Honey Nutrition, is a diabetes dietitian (Registered Dietitian Nutritionist) renowned for combining her knowledge of diabetes and culinary expertise into easy-to-follow recipes and articles!

Best Bedtime Snacks for Diabetes for Stable Blood Sugars

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fruit veggies hummus granola bedtime snacks for diabetes

Figuring out the best bedtime snacks for diabetes is critical to managing blood sugars.

Anyone with diabetes knows that how your blood sugars start the day is a pretty good indicator of how the rest of the day will go. And, nothing can have a bigger impact on morning blood sugars than the types of bedtime snacks for diabetes you are choosing.

Why bother reading about the best bedtime snack for blood sugar

Whether you have diabetes or not, the idea of a bedtime snack is fairly common to everyone. Who doesn’t love a little something to snack on before they call it a night?

The difference you see though once you (or a loved one) have diabetes, is the “art” involved in figuring out the best bedtime snacks for diabetes. It can have a direct impact on your blood sugars the next morning. And we all know having a stable blood sugar come morning time is important.

rice cakes nuts fruit granola bedtime snacks for diabetes

Why does your blood sugar drop at night?

Your blood sugar might be dropping at night for a variety of reasons, but some common causes are:

  • Activity just before going to bed
  • Too much medication/insulin at dinner time
  • Not eating a bedtime snack
  • Going too long without eating

How to avoid low blood sugar at night

To avoid dropping low (that’s diabetes talk for experiencing a low blood sugar) in the middle of the night, try having a bedtime snack with complex carbs, protein, and little bit of fat. Talk to your doctor about if you should take medication/insulin for that snack or not and how much. We’ll cover the best bedtime snacks for diabetes below. 

homemade granola bars bedtime snacks for diabetes

Why does my blood sugar go up at night?

Just like blood sugars can go too low at night, they can also go too high at night. A few causes might be:

  • Not enough medication/insulin for your evening meal
  • Not as active the day before
  • Being sick
  • Being stressed
  • Going too long over night without eating (aka, not having a bedtime snack)

How to avoid blood sugar spikes at night

The best ways to avoid blood sugar spikes overnight are:

  • Avoid very high fat foods later in the evening. That high fat can cause a delayed spike in blood sugars (>15-20g).
  • Eat a bedtime snack with complex carbs, protein, and a small amount of fat.
  • Go for an evening walk after dinner.

What foods keep your blood sugar stable at night?

As I alluded to above,  foods that help keep blood sugars stable at night and make for the best bedtime snacks for diabetes are those with:

  • Fiber (complex carbs)
  • Low amounts of added sugar (or none)
  • Protein
  • Small amounts of fat
blueberry muffins silicone muffin pan bedtime snacks for diabetes

What should you have for a bedtime snack to lower blood sugar in the morning?

I asked a few of my favorite diabetes colleagues to weigh in on what their recommendations for bedtime snacks for diabetes are and this is what they had to say…

Fellow dietitian and diabetes expert Rahaf Al Bochi, RDN, LD recommends, “Bedtime snacks can be helpful for some people to bring down their morning blood sugars! I recommend experimenting with a protein and a complex carbohydrate for a bedtime snack and monitoring your blood sugars to see how your body responds. Examples include whole grain crackers and cheese or greek yogurt and nuts.”

And, Casey Seiden, MS, RD, CDCES offered more ideas saying, “Everyone’s blood sugars respond differently to a bedtime snack, but ideally you should aim for a combination of complex carbs and protein or healthy fat to keep glucose steady overnight. Try snacks like a rice cake with mashed avocado on top, Greek yogurt with blackberries, energy bites that contain oats and nut butter, or a cocoa chia pudding.”

fruit basket bedtime snacks for diabetes

Best bedtime snacks for diabetes

Now that we’ve covered what to look for in bedtime snacks for diabetes and why bedtime snacks can be helpful here are some of my favorite bedtime snack ideas. These are all “homemade” in that they involve a simple recipe and/or a quick combination of foods. For ideas for packaged snacks, make sure to check out my post on the 51 best packaged snacks for diabetes

13 bedtime snack ideas and recipes for diabetes

  1. Blueberry Zucchini Muffins
  2. No Bake Lemon Cheesecakes Bites
  3. Nutreat
  4. Simple Pecan No Bake Energy Bites
  5. Low Sugar Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites
  6. Low Sugar Brownie Bites
  7. Avocado toast
  8. Low glycemic bar
  9. Low sugar Greek yogurt
  10. Peanut butter crackers
  11. Handful of your favorite nuts
  12. Popcorn and nuts
  13. Fruit + fat/protein

Learn more about each of these bedtime snacks for diabetes below!

Blueberry Zucchini Muffins: Nothing makes me more excited than a fluffy blueberry muffin. Make these zucchini blueberry muffins ahead of time and freeze for an easy bedtime snack during the week!

blueberry muffins in a bowl bedtime snacks for diabetes

No Bake Lemon Cheesecake Bites: These no-bake lemon cheesecake bites are delicious and packed with protein and fiber!

lemon no bake cheesecake bites in white dish with lemon slices bedtime snacks for diabetes

Nutreat: Nutreat is a low-glycemic, no added sugar snack loaded with prebiotic fiber and lots of flavor. I’m not sure if I should compare it to nut butter, or some sort of pudding (see the photo below), but either way it’s a creamy delicious low glycemic bedtime snack for diabetes.

6 jars nutreat in box bedtime snacks for diabetes

Simple Pecan No Bake Energy Bites: If you’re looking for the perfect quick and easy bedtime snack, these Simple Pecan No- Bake Energy Bites are a great option with only 4 ingredients and no added sugar!

no bake energy bites bedtime snacks for diabetes

Low Sugar Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites:   These Low Sugar Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites are the perfect bedtime snack… they’re very easy to make, vegan, and no-bake. O, and the secret little ingredient adds fiber and protein!

chocolate chip cookie dough bites bedtime snacks for diabetes

Low Sugar Brownie Bites:  These Low Sugar No Bake Brownie Bites are a close spin off of my Low Sugar Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites (one of the most popular recipes in the history of my blog!) They are perfect for a quick chocolate bedtime snack.

brownie bites low sugar bedtime snacks for diabetes

Avocado toast: Use my 5-minute guac recipe and have a slice of avocado toast on whole grain bread.

avocado toast whole grain bread bedtime snacks for diabetes

Low Glycemic Bar: There are a TON of bars on the market. Everything from energy bars to protein bars to snack bars. This post has 28 of my favorite bars for people with diabetes. They’d make a great easy bedtime snack for diabetes!

protein bars for diabetes in store bedtime snacks for diabetes

Low sugar Greek yogurt: Greek yogurt offers both protein and carbohydrate. If you’re not into plain yogurt with fruit on top, try a flavor with less than 5-6g added sugar/serving.

plain greek yogurt with bluberries bedtime snacks for diabetes

Peanut butter crackers: What’s more classic than some peanut butter crackers before bedtime? For some reason, this was always what I wanted as a kid. Opt for whole grain or grain free crackers and unsweetened peanut butter.

peanut butter crackers bedtime snacks for diabetes

Handful of your favorite nuts: This can be anything from peanuts to walnuts to pecans. They’ll both satisfy and help promote stable blood sugars overnight.

mixed nuts bowl bedtime snacks for diabetes

Popcorn and nuts: This is actually my favorite way to make trail mix! I sometimes make this version I posted on Instagram, AND I have a different version in my cookbook, The Easy Diabetes Cookbook!

popcorn pecans chocolate chips trail mix in white bowl bedtime snacks for diabetes

Fruit + Fat/Protein: This could be anything from an apple with peanut butter to blueberries with cottage cheese!

peanut butter and apples

And if you’d like more bedtime snack ideas for people with diabetes, make sure to order a copy of my cookbook The Easy Diabetes Cookbook!

how to order the easy diabetes cookbook

More to explore...

ginger bread loaf cake squares

Healthy Homemade Gingerbread Loaf Cake

This gingerbread loaf cake is so versatile. Thanks to a blood sugar friendly balance of ingredients, you can enjoy it at breakfast, as a snack, and also as dessert!

roasted brussel sprouts and butternut squash with pecans goat cheese and gluten free french fried onions

Roasted Brussel Sprouts and Butternut Squash with Pecans

The holidays can be a tricky time to navigate when you have diabetes, but making sure you have some veggie loaded side dishes is a great way to balance out other holiday dishes. Roasted brussel sprouts and butternut squash are a delicious option!

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