The purpose of the present study was to investigate whether whey protein (WP), casein protein (CP), carbohydrate (CHO) or a non-energy-containing placebo (PLA) consumed before sleep alters morning appetite and resting energy expenditure (REE) in active men. A total of eleven men (age: 23·6 (sem 1·0) years; body fat: 16·3 (sem 2·5) %) participated in this randomised, double-blind, cross-over study. A single dose of WP (30 g), CP (30 g), CHO (33 g) or PLA was consumed 30 min before sleep, and each trial was separated by 48-72 h. The next morning (05.00-08.00 hours), measurements of satiety, hunger and desire to eat and REE were taken. After a 30 min equilibration period, REE in the supine position was measured for 60 min. An analysis of 10 min mean intervals over the final 50 min of the measurement period was conducted. Statistical analyses were conducted using repeated-measures ANOVA for metabolic variables, and a one-way ANOVA was used for measuring changes in appetite markers. Group differences were examined by Tukey's post hoc analysis. There were no significant differences in appetite measures among the groups. There was a main group effect for REE. The predicted REE was significantly greater after consumption of the WP (8151 (sem 67) kJ/d), CP (8126 (sem 67) kJ/d) and CHO (7988 (sem 67) kJ/d) than after that of the PLA (7716 (sem 67) kJ/d, P <0·0001). There were no significant differences between the WP and CP groups in any metabolic measurements. Night-time consumption of WP, CP or CHO, in the hours close to sleep, elicits favourable effects on the next-morning metabolism when compared with that of a PLA in active young men.