• Koala Dreaming

Here's how to improve your little one's sleep with nutrition

Updated: Feb 12

Are you exhausted because your baby is not sleeping well? Believe it or not but the reason for your little one not sleeping can be found on your child’s plate. What your little one eats on a daily basis plays an important role in regards to how they sleep.

While a cup of warm milk before bedtime certainly helps, what your little one eats throughout the day is just as important. Not only is it important to ensure that your baby’s calorie requirements are met during the day to help with fewer wakings overnight, but it is also very important to ensure that your little one eats right to help with better sleep.

The amino acid tryptophan plays an important role in healthy sleep. It is essential for the production of serotonin which has a positive impact on mood, energy levels, and sleep as it is the neurotransmitter that helps us to be calm. While serotonin can be produced by our bodies tryptophan cannot and needs to be added through our diet. Tryptophan can be found in foods that are high in protein and some of the best sources are:

  • Salmon

  • Chicken

  • Turkey

  • Eggs

  • Spinach

  • Seeds

  • Milk

  • Cheese

  • Soy products

  • Lentils

  • Beans

  • Nuts

To ensure these foods help in making your little one sleepy, they need to be combined with complex carbohydrates. So it is a good idea to plate up some healthy carbs such as oats, sweet potato, quinoa, wholegrain pasta, bread, and rice. Some great dinner ideas for your child are pasta with Parmesan cheese, scrambled eggs with cheese, and tofu stir-fry.

There is also a range of fruits that contain the sleep hormone melatonin and should be included in your little one’s diet to help them sleep better. The best ones are:

  • Kiwi

  • Tart cherries

  • Bananas

  • Pineapples

  • Oranges

And the winner is? Calcium! According to Dr. Sears ‘Calcium helps the brain use the tryptophan to manufacture melatonin’. So be sure to include lots of calcium-rich foods (milk, yogurt, cheese) in your child’s diet as well.

Need some more help with your little one’s sleep? See sleep packages here.

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