Some kids just struggle to fall asleep. If your kid is one who has a hard time falling asleep at bedtime, you’re well aware of the problems that come from a lack of sleep. After tossing and turning all night, your kid wakes up tired, cranky, and irritable. You’re sure they’ll crash the next night, but instead, they’re wide awake until way too late, only to repeat the cycle the next night.
You might have already tried all the other sleep advice out there, like shutting down screens before bedtime, taking a relaxing bath in the evening, and sticking to a schedule. And yet, your kid is still wide awake, wandering around the house looking for a snack while everyone else is conked out.
Well, as it turns out, the secret to helping your kid sleep better could actually be lurking in your kitchen. That’s right–certain foods can help kids fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. Interested? Keep reading.
The 5 Best Foods for Kids Who Can’t Sleep
Evening snacks can be a good thing when they’re full of serotonin or melatonin, both of which can promote sleep. It’s worth trying these foods to see if they can help your kid sleep better.
Give your kid a small snack tonight from this list to see if it helps them sleep faster and longer.
We usually think of eggs as breakfast food, but they’re also excellent for promoting sleep. That’s due to their high concentration of tryptophan, which is an amino acid that helps make the sleep hormone serotonin. Even better? You can hard boil a few eggs ahead of time for a quick and easy nighttime snack when your kid is having trouble sleeping.
Did your mom heat you up a cup of warm milk when you couldn’t sleep? It turns out she was onto something. Like eggs, milk is rich in tryptophan, which explains why our parents gave it to us when we couldn’t sleep. You can drink it hot or cold to get the same benefits, although there is some evidence that drinking a warm beverage can calm your body more than a cold one.
In addition to being filling and nutrient-dense, bananas are full of magnesium. Studies have shown that a magnesium deficiency can cause sleeplessness, so having a banana before bed could help your kid. In addition, bananas are full of B6, which helps convert tryptophan to serotonin and promotes sound sleep.
Having fatty fish (like salmon) for dinner can help your kid sleep better several hours later. Researchers have found a correlation between eating a diet rich in fish and getting better sleep. One possible reason for this is that fish is high in vitamin D. Some research suggests that a vitamin D deficiency can adversely affect sleep patterns.
Nut butters are high in protein, which can help your little one stay full through the night. In addition, nuts are full of tryptophan, which converts to serotonin. Walnut butter is rich in melatonin, while almond and cashew butter are full of magnesium. Look for all-natural butters to avoid added sugars or preservatives.
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