I ran a sleep workshop this weekend at Rocking Horse Nursery in Newbury, the parents asked about diet. Even though research shows that a consistent bedtime routine is effective for promoting sleep, ensuring the right diet and eat the foods that may help your child’s sleep right now, here are my top nine ideas and if you dont want to read it a video too:
1. Eat Foods that contain the amino acid Tryptophan.
Foods containing the amino acid tryptophan are thought to induce sleep. Tryptophan is an amino acid that has long been blamed for the post- Christmas dinner slump. While it does promote drowsiness, foods containing tryptophan need to be eaten at least an hour prior to bedtime, so it can be absorbed. It can be found in many foods besides turkey. Other foods that contain tryptophan are bananas, peanut butter, potatoes, and oats.
2. Remember foods that contain Tryptophan need to be eaten with a carbohydrate.
For tryptophan to be absorbed, the food should be mixed with a carbohydrate. Try food combination such as peanut butter on toast, oat cereal, and warm milk etc.
3. Ensure snacks are at least hour prior to bedtime
If you want to offer your child something, try not to wake them up by giving a snack just as you put them to bed. It can take several hours to digest food so ensure it is a couple of hours prior to the bedtime routine.
4. Eat kiwi fruit before to help you snooze
A study has shown that eating 2 kiwi fruit 1 hour prior to bedtime may help with sleep quality. Kiwi fruits are high in Serotonin. Serotonin is our happy neurotransmitter. Some serotonin gets converted to melatonin, ( this regulates our 24 cycle circadian rhythm ) which is why eating foods like kiwi will help. Yum yum!
5. Don’t eat foods that raise Cortisol levels
Cortisol is often seen as the ” stress hormone” but it has many other uses. Cortisol can help control blood sugar levels, Cortisol is naturally high in the morning, this enables us to have the energy to get up. It naturally dips in the afternoon ready for us to sleep. When you offer your child foods that are high in sugar and high on the GI index, they raise cortisol which will prevent your child from being drowsy.
6. Reduce foods that are high in Caffeine
Caffeine is not just in tea and coffee but is other foods that you may not think of such as milky ways, M and M’s, diet coke, chocolate, and chocolate ice cream. Caffeine suppresses adenosine. Harvard Division of Sleep Medicine notes that Adenosine also plays a role in making us drowsy ( melatonin does too) It gradually builds up in our bodies when we are awake and makes us feel sleepy by the end of the day. Lots of chocolate ice cream and cocoa just before your child goes to sleep may make them more alert.
8. Don’t encourage high-fat foods
Skip fatty foods such as crisps and biscuits can affect the quality of sleep, have fruit instead.
9. Eat lots of walnuts
Some studies show walnuts promoted sleep due to the highest levels of antioxidants, melatonin and serotonin.
I am a great believer that small things can create change, so review your diet and see if you can make some small changes. If you are struggling with the sleep at your home would like to ask me to give a talk, then do contact me. Wishing you all a goods night sleep. If you want to see my weekly blogs, then do like and follow me on Facebook. With Love Catherine