Foods that make your child sleep!!
This is one of the common phrases for every parent where they have trouble to make their kids fall asleep.
This makes the early years of childbirth for a few parents a sleep-deprived period. If you have bedtime battles with your toddler night after night, then this article is for you !.
You might consider adding some of these sleep-inducing foods to your child’s diet after making sure that your child is not allergic to any of them.
How can sleep be induced with the help of food?
The answer would be the chemical components that are present in a few foods like tryptophan. Tryptophan is an amino acid that our bodies use to synthesize proteins.
This tryptophan also produces a brain chemical called serotonin from which melatonin (which is so essential for sleep that it’s named the ‘sleep hormone’) is manufactured in our body.
Melatonin is a natural hormone made by your body’s pineal gland in our brain. During the day the pineal is inactive. When the sun goes down and darkness occurs, the pineal is “turned on” and begins to actively produce melatonin, which is released into the blood. Usually, this occurs around 9 pm.
As a result, melatonin levels in the blood rise sharply and you begin to feel less alert. Sleep becomes more inviting. Melatonin levels in the blood stay elevated for about 12 hours – all through the night – before the light of a new day when they fall back to low daytime levels by about 9 am. Daytime levels of melatonin are barely detectable. Thus melatonin helps in sleep cycles.
There are a few foods that contain high levels of tryptophan, thereby helpful in producing good sleep. Those include the following:
- Try feeding your child a dinner or bedtime snack that includes the following high-tryptophan foods: milk, cottage cheese, nuts and seeds, shellfish, beans, and eggs.
- Chamomile is a flower that has long been used in teas for its calming effects. To use it as a sleep aid for your toddler, brew a cup of chamomile tea and sweeten it with 1 or 2 tsp. of honey (only if your child is at least 12 months of age). Allow it to cool slightly and then serve it to your child 30 minutes before bedtime. apart from helping in aiding sleep, there are a number of other health benefits of chamomile tea (source)
- Some high carb/low protein examples include apples with peanut butter, whole wheat crackers and cheese, a bagel with cream cheese, or cereal and milk.
- Bananas contain melatonin and serotonin which help to calm you and regulate your sleep cycles. They also contain a healthy dose of magnesium which acts as a natural muscle relaxant.(source)
- Not only does milk contain that natural sleep aid, tryptophan, it also contains a ton of calcium which helps the body process tryptophan.
Other foods that induce sleep:
- Wheat and oats
- Green leafy vegetables
- Poultry (especially turkey
- Tuna with brown rice
When you should feed your kid for good sleep :
Apart from the type of food, the timing of the food is also very important for good sleep for your kid.
These are few schedule timing tips for food to be given to the child
- Large meals should be given in the midday. The quantity during dinner time should be smaller compared to the lunch.
- Avoid large meals 1 hour or less before bedtime. A large meal will raise your child’s metabolic rate and body temperature, which will make it tough to get to sleep. You want your child’s metabolism and temperature to be decreasing as they head towards bedtime, and not increasing.
- A small healthy snake about 30 minutes before going to sleep. Avoid foods that contain lots of sugar and caffeine (which delay the sleep onset).
- If your kid is badly struggling with lack of sleep, then sleep coaching would be a good idea.
- Sleep promoting devices that are available in the market helps to improvise your as well as the kid’s sleep.
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