Did you know that around a third of the British population experience some sort of problem with sleep? That's a lot of tired people walking about. Many of those are children. We tend not to think about children suffering from insomnia, but they do. Children who struggle to fall asleep and stay asleep tend to do significantly worse at school and are more likely to experience mental health issues.
You can do things to help your children sleep better, many of which are well-publicized. These are generally referred to as sleep hygiene processes. Turning off the TVs and devices before bed, sticking to a routine, making sure the room is not too hot or cold or too light or noisy are some things you can do. You can also try using a sleep spray containing lavender, like all our Dream Sprays. including Lavender which is well known for improving sleep quality.
However, there is one thing that you may not have realized can help play a part in improving sleep: food. Some foods - those that are 'aggressive' - contain lots of sugar, caffeine, are too heavy or too watery - can disrupt sleep and wake children up at night, or even stop them falling asleep to start with. These should be avoided in the run-up to bed.
However, some foods are thought to have a positive impact on sleep. At the moment, there is no scientific evidence to support this, but anecdotally, there are some foods which are better to eat later on a night than others. Let's take a look at a few of them.
Cottage cheese: Cottage cheese is packed with nutrients, protein, and calcium. It is easy to digest and can be mixed with banana (another sleepy food!), berries, pineapple, or other fruits to turn it into a yummy and healthy bedtime snack.
Peanut butter on toast: Peanut butter is incredibly healthy anyway - jam-packed with protein and nutrients, but when it comes to bedtime snacks, it rules. Peanuts contain tryptophan, which is converted to melatonin, a hormone that promotes sleep and is often given in supplement form to aid sleep. A handful of nuts also does the same job - almonds are also great.
Bowl of cereal: Milk contains that magical tryptophan, and when combined with a low or no-sugar cereal, packed with carbs, it can be absorbed quickly and efficiently. It is also filling without being too heavy.
Banana: Bananas are a great source of potassium and magnesium, both of which help a healthy immune system and regulate the body. It makes an ideal bedtime snack because it's easy to grab, gentle on the tummy, and has plenty of minerals, as well as being a natural sleep aid.
Tuna: Although it may not be an obvious option as a sleepy food, tuna contains vitamin B6, contributing to the development of melatonin. It's also a source of healthy fat and omega-three oils.
Why not add a few of these to your shopping list and see the difference in your child's sleep. Of course we also encourage you to use our Dream Spray, full off essential sleep enhancing aromas!