What foods will help sleep?
Are there really foods to help sleep? Have you ever wondered what foods will help your child sleep better? As well as having an important role in our health and well being, food also has a significant impact on our ability to sleep. One of the keys to a restful night’s sleep is to get your brain calmed rather than revved up. Some foods contribute to restful sleep; other foods keep you awake. We call foods to help sleep – sleepers and foods that inhibit sleep – wakers.
Sleepers – foods to help sleep
What kinds of foods should you incorporate into your child’s diet to help them sleep? Sleepers are tryptophan-containing foods, because tryptophan is the amino acid that the body uses to make serotonin, the neurotransmitter that slows down nerve traffic so your brain isn’t so busy. Wakers are foods that stimulate neurochemicals that perk up the brain. With this in mind this blog post will highlight the kinds of foods you might incorporate in your child’s diet to help them sleep.hat kinds of foods should you incorporate into your child’s diet to help them sleep? Sleepers are tryptophan-containing foods, because tryptophan is the amino acid that the body uses to make serotonin, the neurotransmitter that slows down nerve traffic so your brain isn’t so busy. Wakers are foods that stimulate neurochemicals that perk up the brain. With this in mind, a bedtime snack of foods that contain tryptophan is a great choice
Bananas, which are a healthy fruit, help promote sleep because they contain the natural muscle-relaxants magnesium and potassium, which is good for cardiovascular health and cognitive functioning.
As well as bananas these sleepy foods include warm milk, oat biscuits, cottage cheese, yogurt, pineapple, plums, bananas, eggs, chicken, turkey, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, cashew nuts and whole grain low sugar cereals.
Carbohydrates in general are good for sleep but it’s not a great idea to eat too many and especially not to binge before bedtime.
Complex carbs are better than refined/white carbs. Try a bowl of shredded wheat to help your child sleep. Other complex carbs to include in your child’s diet include quinoa, barley, and buckwheat. With all carbs you should try to ensure they are digested well before bedtime.
Cherries are one of the few natural foods to contain melatonin, the chemical that helps control our body’s internal clock. Just a few delicious cherries will help promote sleep.
Sweet potatoes are a sleeper’s dream. Not only do they provide sleep-promoting complex carbohydrates, they also contain muscle-relaxant potassium. Other good sources of potassium include regular potatoes (baked and keep the skin on), lima beans, and papaya.
Wakers – foods that inhibit sleep
Aim to avoid your child having caffeine 4 to 6 hours before bedtime, tea, coffee, chocolate and coca cola can profoundly disrupt night time sleep in some people.
Chocolate contains not only calories, but caffeine, especially dark chocolate – if you’re giving your child a treat do so earlier in the day rather than before bed.
Sugary sweets at bedtime will not only give your child a boost of energy hindering them from falling asleep but research has also shown them to be a cause of nightmares, so avoid these at all times.
Typical fizzy drinks contain citrus as well as sodium benzoate and other chemicals which can aggravate the gastrointestinal tract and promote acid reflux, not a recipe for a good night’s sleep.