Whenever parents come together, the topic naturally veers towards kids and their activities. The conversation also includes sleep and whether or not their kids are getting enough of it. The lucky ones are quick to share tips, giving suggestions to those who cannot seem to get their kids to sleep on time. However, what’s more worrying is when the little ones cannot hold on to sleep through the night.
Studies suggest that indulging in a bedtime snack can help kids sleep well. For instance, a glass of warm milk helps induce sleep. Sleep is attached to melatonin, a hormone secreted by the pineal gland in the brain at the onset of darkness, which initiates the sleep cycle.
Since melatonin can be found in a variety of foods, incorporate them in the diet. Adding foods containing nutrients that assist with serotonin production, which in turn is necessary for the secretion of melatonin, is a must.
Bananas contain potassium, magnesium, vitamin B6, and natural complex carbohydrates that produce serotonin, while also being a good source of tryptophan. Since they are also high in carbs, they make you sleepy. Try blending banana into a smoothie or have it as an evening snack.
keeping your heart healthy — they also help the body produce melatonin more naturally, even when eaten first thing in the morning. Apart from being the source of vitamins and minerals that boost a healthy nervous system and relaxation, Oats also contain amino acids, potassium, vitamin B, magnesium and complex carbs that will help you drift off more easily, and even regulate your sleep pattern, too. You can replace rice with a bowl of oats for dinner as a more fibre-rich and nutrient-dense option. Cook them with Indian spices to make them savoury.
pineapples have digestive benefits, and are great for building immunity, they actually contain more melatonin-boosting benefits than oats or bananas, making them a great choice. Eat them either fresh or frozen in the evening before dinner time.
contains two components that aids better sleep and relaxation — melatonin and tryptophan. Milk is filled with calcium, which triggers the brain to produce tryptophan, causing kids to fall asleep quickly. Enjoy a glass of milk with dinner or mix it with some cereal.
Walnuts also contain the amino acid tryptophan. Give a handful of walnuts to kids before bedtime or add them in fruit salad for dessert.
Cherries are also sleep-inducing. However, instead of giving kids cherry juice, feed them the fruit instead. You can also blend cherries into a delicious smoothie or add them to ice creams. A much simpler option is to puree them with some banana and a little vanilla for a healthy, naturally sweet fruit ice cream!
contain the sleep-regulating hormone melatonin. So by adding them regularly to your diet, you can help regulate the natural sleep-wake cycle in the body. This will also prompt you to get to sleep faster each night.
Collection: The Independent (Online Edition)