Sleepy Lambs Sleep Tips & More!
Focusing on healthy eating? You probably know that what you eat can affect your sleep. The same applies to babies and young children too! It’s hard to sleep well with a rumbly tummy.
Best Snacks Before Bed!
If you’re looking to help your little one sleep better, the right nutrition is essential! Having a snack with a combination of protein and carbohydrates is one way to help the tummy stay full. The combination keeps the blood sugar stable and eating both together is slower to digest than carbs alone.
Here are a few suggestions!
Cheese and crackers: The calcium in cheese helps the brain use the tryptophan in dairy to produce melatonin. Tryptophan is an amino acid found in foods like turkey, chicken, meat, cheese, yoghurt and fish. Without going through the entire process, it helps produce serotonin, which is a neurotransmitter in the brain and is associated with melatonin, the hormone that helps us fall asleep. The crackers come into play because tryptophan reaches the brain much easier when accompanied by carbohydrates!
Bananas and milk or yoghurt: Bananas are brilliant as they are rich in potassium and magnesium and also contain tryptophan.
“Chunky monkey sandwiches”: My kids love these, and they’re so easy to make! Just slice a banana into coins or on the diagonal and add some almond butter or peanut butter between the banana slices. Almonds are fantastic for promoting sleep, as a good source of melatonin and magnesium.
Other sleep-inducing foods to help with sleep include kiwifruit ( filled with vitamin C, folate and potassium), walnuts (rich in magnesium and 18 other vitamins and minerals), oatmeal (good source of melatonin), hummus (chickpeas are an excellent source of melatonin).
It is estimated that 75% of adults don’t get enough magnesium in their diet. Babies and children can also be deficient in magnesium, and one of the symptoms can be poor sleep! High magnesium foods can include dark leafy greens, seeds, beans, whole grains, fish, nuts, dark chocolate, yoghurt, avocados, and bananas.
Bath time! Important if your little one doesn’t love kale!
One way to increase magnesium without battling over spinach is to add Epsom salts to your little one’s bath. Epsom salts are high in magnesium and can be absorbed through the skin. They can be purchased at most grocery stores. Put a small amount in the bath water first, to ensure there’s no reaction and then you can add a handful for each bath. My little one with eczema did not react the Epsom salts but best to try a bit first.
If you’re struggling with sleep, you can always try a magnesium supplement. I notice a significant improvement in my sleep when I take it, so I now take it daily. Of course, be sure to discuss with your GP or a pharmacist before taking any supplements!
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Mary Foster is a sleep specialist, an entrepreneur and mum of three little ones (at one time three under three). Mary’s a proud Canadian, living in Hampshire, England. She’s the founder of Sleepy Lambs Sleep Consulting and is passionate about supporting parents and helping newborns, babies, toddlers and young children learn to sleep better with a strong focus on emotional health and wellness. Click here to message her.