Most recent studies suggest that it makes little difference eating shortly before bed, assuming you haven't already gone over daily calorie goals earlier in the day (i.e., what's important is the amount of calories you've consumed throughout the entire day). The real issue is what you're eating before bed, as certain foods can have a negative effect on your sleep, and many tend to binge on unhealthy foods shortly before bed. Along with drinking water, which can help satiate and reduce cravings, I personally like to eat something like yogurt with berries. The yogurt -- along with other dairy products -- contains casein, a protein that will slowly be delivered to your body for hours, and thus leave you feeling full and satisfied. (Warm milk, while comforting for some, has been shown not to boost sleep-enducing serotonin levels as was once believed, so it is really no more effective.)
I should note that while it might not have an effect on you physically, I personally choose not to eat much during the last few hours of the day, simply because I don't like going to bed feeling bloated or full. I find I sleep better when I'm not full, and getting a sufficient amount of sleep is absolutely crucial for your health and fitness. One thing that works for me is eating a big breakfast, and when/if I get hungry the nite before, just reminding myself of the delicious feast that awaits me the next morning. (Like I said, I do have yogurt and berries sometimes, but nothing more than that.)
If you do tend to eat unhealthy foods late at night, or you find that these late-night meals are hindering your sleep, I suggest just powering through and trying to cut it out for a few weeks. It's really all just a matter of setting out habits, and once you get used to eating more earlier in the day -- and of course making sure you're getting adequate nutrients, fiber, etc. -- your late-nite cravings will likely vanish.