In our continuing quest to help save your sleep we reached out to theMy Night Light extended family and asked Deb Blakely, accredited Children’s Dietician and Nutritionist, for her help. We soon discovered that there were special foods that actually help you to sleep.
These foods are rich in an amino acid called Tryptophan.
So why is that a good thing? Well Tryptophan helps to produce chemicals in your brain that promote calm, relaxation and sleepiness. It is also an essential player in helping our brains to produce Serotonin, which in turn helps to make Melatonin, the sleepy hormone.
We’ve put together a list of some of the foods that are rich in Tryptophan:
- Dairy products
- Green leafy vegetables
- Tofu and Soy products.
Now along with Tryptophan, it’s also important to eat healthy carbs like pasta, potato, rice, sweet potato and wholegrain bread. The reason for this is because these foods produce insulin and insulin helps Tryptophan to reach your brain.
I know that’s a lot of information to take in! Basically, you want to eat a combo of foods that contain Tryptophan and carbs. Examples would be:
- Pasta with cheese – a favourite of my kids
- Banana smoothie
- Eggs on toast
- Chicken and sweet potato with leafy green veg
- A glass of milk before bed.
So now that you have your children’s meals planned FOREVER! Please also keep in mind foods to avoid a couple of hours before bedtime, as these disrupt sleep:
- Caffeine from Chocolate, Coffee, Tea and energy drinks
- Lots of refined sugar
- A high fat diet
- Stimulants such as guarana
- Over eating prior to bedtime
- Alcohol – unless you’re breast feeding, this one is more of a problem for you!
- Spicy foods.
Finally, we have one extra little tip for you, go outside and enjoy the sunshine in the morning, this will help your little one to sleep later in the day.
Great thanks to Deb for her help and wisdom. You can get to know her a little better atkidsdigfood.com.au
We would love to hear from you! Tell us which foods have you found to help your child to sleep better? Or, which foods have you noticed hinder their sleep?