Is It Bad To Eat Soup At Night?

Picking a tasty nighttime snack can sometimes be puzzling. While there are popular bedtime snacks that are scientifically backed to promote sleep, such as bananas, oranges, yogurt, and oatmeal (per Sleep Foundation), sometimes you're craving something warm. Beyond the warming effects of a hearty bowl of soup, it can also be chock full of vegetables, low fat, and extremely filling (via Livestrong). But do these benefits ultimately make it a healthy nighttime snack?

According to Valley Sleep Center, warm soup and broth are at the top of the list as excellent food choices for a nighttime snack that supports sleep. Not only will soup warm you up on a cold day, but these warming effects also promote feelings of comfort, and relaxation. "Foods that are comforting (such as chicken soup) can help your nervous system to power down and relax to give your whole body a sense of safety," shares Chinese medicine specialist and acupuncturist, Tsao-Lin Moy (per Eat This, Not That!). They also tend to be extremely calming and easy on the digestive system points out registered dietitian nutritionist, Christine Palumbo (via Prevention).

What types of soup should you eat?

When it comes to picking a soup to eat at night, not all soups have the same effect. While soup can be the ultimate comfort food, Valley Sleep Center recommends eating "smooth" soups and broths.

Another important thing you'll want to keep in mind when having a bowl of soup is to pick soups that are extremely easy to digest (via Prevention). Dr. Lisa Young, adjunct professor of nutrition at New York University Steinhardt, explains that heavy soups or soups high in fiber may hinder sleep because they're tough to digest (per Refinery 29). For instance, butternut squash is a smooth soup that's also vegetable based and easy to digest, as per Prevention. 

Warm broth-based soups that are free from noodles, beans, and lentils are another great option, points out Valley Sleep Center. They're easy for your body to digest and can be very calming too. Whether you're making your bedtime soup at home or heating up a store-bought soup, be mindful of the salt content, as too much of it may have the opposite effect and may keep you up at night (via Eat This, Not That!).