As a responsible parent, you might be worried why your child cannot sleep well despite having bought her the best sleep mattress for kids. Could what she eats be depriving her of a good night sleep?
Right from the day a child is born, the parents are keen to ensure that the baby feeds well. In other words, no parent would wish to have a malnourished child. That is why, every mom ensures the baby breastfeeds well, and as the child grows, the mother introduces healthy solids. A well-fed baby will grow healthy and strong.
However, did you know that the child’s meals and the food choices would also have a significant impact on her sleep? The food that your baby eats and the time of feeding have an impact on how well the baby will sleep.
In this article, we shall explain what you need to know about the impact of meals on a child’s sleep. Let us get started.
1. Could Be She Feeding on More Caffeine than You Think
Most parents will deny that their children are taking more caffeine than the amount the parents are consuming. Caffeine is not only in the energy drinks you are taking. Caffeine is not only in coffee and tea. Chocolate and ice creams contain caffeine! Therefore, if you are treating the child to chocolates and ice cream, she is already taking more caffeine than you imagine. Caffeine is known to deprive people sleep and therefore it is not good for children too.
2. Fatty Foods Affect Child’s Sleep
Eating fatty foods also affects the quality of sleep in children. Therefore, feeding a child with chips or cookies could be the reason why she cannot sleep well even after upgrading her to a hybrid bed with a double foam mattress. Therefore, before bedtime, avoid cookies and chips but instead offer an alternative
3. Avoid the Foods that Trigger Cortisol
Cortisol is a hormone that is responsible for stress and plays an important role in the human body. It is responsible for controlling energy production in the human body. It also helps in body muscle building and building resistance to diseases. The levels of Cortisol will rise and decrease within a 24 hours period. If the hormone levels rise at night, the quality of sleep will definitely be affected negatively. The foods with a high level of the glycemic index and mainly the sugars and the refined starches can lead to an increase in the level of this hormone. Therefore, do not feed the baby with foods that will have this negative effect.
4. To Control the Cortisol Levels, Space Food Out During the Day
A big meal before bedtime is not recommended, and this is because of the reasons highlighted above. On the other side, if you miss a meal for more than five hours between the daytime, it might lead to sleeplessness at night. Ensure that the child eats healthy snacks during the day to help avoid sleep problems. For the school-going children, you can pack some snacks for the child to eat while in school.
5. Avoid the Heavy Meals Before Bed
Worried about sleeplessness caused by going to bed on an empty stomach, parents will serve dinner just before bedtime. However, did you know that a child’s body needs time to digest the heavy foods? If your baby feeds on a heavy meal just before bedtime, her body will instead try to digest the food and so affecting the sleep quality. This is because the body is focused on digestion and hence fails to relax, as it should affect sleep quality.
So far, we have discussed the foods that affect sleep patterns in children. So what are some of the best foods that promote good night sleep in children? Let us now discuss the foods that will help your child sleep better.
1. Tryptophan-rich Foods
Tryptophan is an amino acid that helps the body to produce brain chemicals like Serotonin. This hormone induces deeper and more restful sleep through the creation of melatonin. Melatonin is the hormone that is responsible for the sleep-wake cycles. The foods that are rich in tryptophan include milk, cheese, eggs, nuts, fish, as well as beans. These foods are rich in protein and should be easy to remember when you are feeding your child.
2. Carbohydrate-Rich Foods
These foods are known to aid sleep in adults. The foods that are rich in carbohydrates include rice, bread, pasta, potatoes, and dairy products. Carbohydrates are also known to facilitate the production of tryptophan. The foods that are rich in carbohydrates improve the quality s sleep and so paired with healthy fats, they will encourage the child to sleep better.
3. Foods Rich in Calcium
The foods that are rich in calcium help children to sleep better. The foods that supply the human body with the calcium include yogurt, milk, cheese, as well as kale and the other leafy greens. Therefore, make sure that your child feeds in the calcium-rich foods.
4. Foods Rich in Melatonin
Pineal gland releases melatonin the hormone that is responsible for signaling the human brain that it is time to sleep. It is produced naturally in the body and it is found in the foods like bananas, tomatoes, oats, walnuts as well as cherries. In adults, taking a glass of cherry juice aids sleep and it is recommended for the persons with insomnia.
5. Foods rich in Magnesium
Low levels of magnesium in the body are linked to insomnia and therefore the insomnia patients are encouraged to eat foods that help to maintain normal levels of magnesium. Foods that are rich in magnesium include whole grains and almonds.
6. Children who Drink Milk Before Bedtime Sleep better
If your mom gave you a warm glass of milk before bedtime, thank her. She knew that milk aids sleep in children. It is rich in tryptophan as well as calcium. Tryptophan aids sleep in kids and by maintaining calcium at good levels, helps you sleep better.
Feed your child well and space the meals well to ensure he or she sleeps well at night. It is important you observe a balanced diet for your child always.