Make Bedtime Easy With These Sleep Promoting Foods
Ahhh bedtime, even the word makes me sleepy! Not so much for my toddler though… In fact I don´t ever say the word bedtime I say ¨Lets go brush your teeth.” He then takes my hand and leads me to the stairs before counting each step on the way up to his room.
Now, I know a lot of toddlers hate brushing their teeth, but even using a different phrase such as, ¨let´s go have your bath now¨ if they enjoy their bath in their bedtime routine, can make a world of difference in terms of resisting bedtime. I strongly believe though that one of the biggest reasons he is so ready for bed is the pre-bedtime snack I give him one hour before.
We all know that drinking coffee right before bed would not exactly make us sleepy right? Well certain foods promote sleep and others hinder it.
Every baby book, parent, friend, random person on the street will tell you the importance of having a proper bedtime routine to easily get your little munchkin off into the land of nod. While I certainly agree that having a bedtime routine is vital, the routine and food consumed in the hours prior also have a huge impact on the easability of making the bedtime routine run smoothly.
If your toddler is still bouncing off the walls during your bedtime routine, it´s time to look at what you did the hour prior to starting the routine. You can read more about the importance of what I call “Wind Down hour” here. In this post though, we are going to focus on foods that promote sleep.
So let´s just jump straight to it!
Bananas contain magnesium and potassium, both of which are muscle relaxers – perfect for making your toddler calm and ready for bed. In addition, they also have melatonin (the sleep hormone) and serotonin, which helps regulate your sleep cycles. Most nights I give my son a banana pancake 1 hour before bed, these pancakes are perfect as they actually contain 3 of the sleep-promoting foods on this list in one delicious meal!
Yogurt & Dairy
Dairy products such as yogurt, milk, cottage cheese and cheese contain tryptophan, an amino acid which helps the body to produce serotonin. But that´s not all… they also contain calcium, which helps the body process tryptophan and produce more melatonin! A serving of milk or natural yogurt 1 hour before bed will help your toddler to relax and fall asleep easier.
How many times have you heard that you should eat oats for breakfast? That´s because they release sugar slowly and keep you full for longer. These qualities alone make oats the perfect food before bed..but we are not done there… you´ve guessed it, they are also loaded with melatonin!
Chamomile tea is well known for being a mild tranquilizer and sleep-inducer. It also helps settle your stomach, and reduce anxiety, thus making it a perfect beverage for your little one!
As I mentioned before the pancakes combine 3 of these sleep-inducing foods making it the best bedtime food ever for toddlers (In my opinion 😉 ), if you want to really relax your toddler to the extreme why not serve the pancakes with some warm chamomile tea!
Have a favorite bedtime snack for your baby or toddler? Let me know in the comments!