11 Things To Do Instead of Late-Night Snacking

Do you ever get hungry before bed? Me too, and surprise– we’re not alone. The late-night hunger cravings are all too real. Indeed, a study published in the most recent version of the journal Obesity found that the circadian system (aka our body’s internal clock), increases hunger and cravings for sweet, starchy and salty foods in the evenings. And while you might think you’re safe if you exercise daily, it turns out people who indulge in mindless snacking late night–especially high-calorie foods and beverages–are more likely to be overweight or obese. This isn’t such great news for those of us trying to watch our weight.

So the question on our minds now: What do we do to stop snacking? While researchers can’t quite answer this one, we’re certain mindful distraction works. In order to get to the bottom what should be an easy problem to solve, I reached out to my college community at USC for some healthy ways to avoid my own midnight munching habits. As it turns out, there are a lot of things we can do late-night to avoid snacking.

Ahead, see what 11 college students do instead of giving into the tummy rumbles.

1. PAINT YOUR NAILS

Feeling bored and can’t seem to sleep? Keep your hands busy by painting your nails in fun colors. That way you can’t snack since the polish takes a while to dry – now that’s smart.

Nail Lacquer
Tom Ford Nail Lacquer ($36)
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Nail Polish
Deborah Lippmann Nail Polish ($18)
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 Nail Lacquer
OPI Nail Lacquer ($10)
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2. CLEAN YOUR LAPTOP SCREEN

A very efficient way to keep busy, because let’s be honest, when was the last time you actually did this?

Screen Cleaning Kit
Belkin Screen Cleaning Kit ($6.74)
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Laptop Bag
Kate Spade Laptop Bag ($298)
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Laptop Case
Henri Bendel Laptop Case ($74)
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 Laptop Sleeve
Marc Jacobs Laptop Sleeve ($59.99)
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3. Doodle, Draw, or Color

Doodling and coloring is one of the best ways to exercise the right side of your brain. Coloring books aren’t just for young ones, it’s for all of us. Brit Morin, CEO and founder of Brit + Co, says that doodling can help you generate fresh ideas. when you’ve got a bad case of writer’s block.

NYC Coloring Book
Workman Publishing NYC Coloring Book ($9.99)
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 Doodle Box
Urban Outfitters Doodle Box ($10)
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 Sketchbook
TJ Maxx Sketchbook ($12.99)
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4. WRITE IN A JOURNAL

Another therapeutic way to distract yourself from snacking is keeping a journal. Whether you’re writing random thoughts, a poem, a love note, or song lyrics, writing is a great way to wind down before sleeping.

Notebook
Kate Spad Notebook ($16)
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 Notebook
Smythson Notebook ($80)
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 Notebook
Rifle Paper Co Notebook ($15)
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5. PUT ON A FACE MASK

Pampering yourself is always fun. Tissue masks are especially great for treating your skin. They’re the perfect pick-me-up for instant radiance.

 Vitamin C Mask
Andalou Naturals Vitamin C Mask ($4.99)
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 Tissue Mask
Daily Wonders Tissue Mask ($5.50)
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 Ginseng Shot Mask
Erborian Ginseng Shot Mask ($7.50)
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6. ORGANIZE YOUR JEWELRY

Make sure all your earring backs are put on and all the pairs are matching. And don’t get me started on the laborious task of untangling necklaces – it’ll definitely keep you occupied.

Pendent Necklace
Rachel Zoe Pendent Necklace ($75)
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Tassel Earrings
Kate Spade Tassel Earrings ($98)
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 Gold Cuff
Elizabeth and James Gold Cuff ($195)
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7. PLAY AROUND WITH NEW HAIRSTYLES

Perhaps braids are going to be your new style, or beachy waves. Curl, straighten, twist, clip – the options are endless!

Flower Headband
Oscar De La Renta Flower Headband ($169.99)
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 Heated Hair Straightening Brush
Instyler Heated Hair Straightening Brush ($59.99)
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LIZ CLAIBORNE Liz Claiborne Hair Pins
Liz Claiborne LIZ CLAIBORNE Liz Claiborne Hair Pins ($24)
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8. LISTEN TO A PODCAST OR WATCH A TED TALK

Swap eating for learning. Any takers for ancient Roman history or motivational talks?

Headphones
Happy Plugs Headphones ($34.99)
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Shearling Headphones
UGG Australia Shearling Headphones ($109)
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 'The Taylor' Headphones
Frends ‘The Taylor’ Headphones ($126)
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9. STRETCH IT OUT

Yoga is one of the best things to do before bed. Simply stretching out your muscles will do wonders for your body and mind.

Yoga Mat
Yoga Design Lab Yoga Mat ($49)
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10. READ

Reading is a great way to distract. Whether you’re reading a magazine or an autobiography, reading can help open your mind to new ideas and is a great way to keep busy at night. Scroll down for books I like to keep on my bedstand.

The Next Generation of Women Leaders: What You Need to Lead but Won’t Learn in Business School
by Selena Rezvani The Next Generation of Women Leaders: What You Need to Lead but Won’t Learn in Business School ($41.20)
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Start Something that Matters
by Blake Mycoskie Start Something that Matters ($9.55)
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Through the Labyrinth: The Truth About How Women Become Leaders
by Alice H. Eagly and Linda L. Carli Through the Labyrinth: The Truth About How Women Become Leaders ($28.64)
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How Remarkable Women Lead: The Breakthrough Model for Work and Life
by Joanna Barsh, Susie Cranston and Geoffrey Lewis How Remarkable Women Lead: The Breakthrough Model for Work and Life ($9.55)
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11. TRY TO SLEEP

When all else fails, it’s time to count sheep and try and get a good night’s sleep. It’s the next best thing to snacking.

Pure Silk Sleep Mask
Slip for Beauty Sleep Pure Silk Sleep Mask ($45)
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Silk Pillow Case
Slip Silk Pillow Case ($80)
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 Egyptian Cotton Blanket
Royal Velvet Egyptian Cotton Blanket ($39.99)
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Which habit will cure your midnight munchie habits?