As a mum to a toddler, lets just say sleep is no longer a given and it’s really interesting to know that what we eat can actually affect the way our family sleeps.
Sleep. We all know how important it is and we all know that we don’t always get enough of it, ESPECIALLY when you start a family. Life changes dramatically when you have children, and one of things that takes a hit is amount of shut-eye you now get. Addressing how much sleep you and your family are getting is important for your health, well-being and safety, but it’s not always easy finding ways to make sure we get more of it.
New routines, earlier bedtimes and soothing music might not always do the trick. Making a change to your diet, however, could be just what you need to improve your sleep quality. If your 8 uninter-rupted hours of blissfulness are a thing of the past then it’s time to restore some well earned sleep with 8 foods you can try to help improve the whole family’s sleeping habits.
1. White Rice
Adding rice to your dinner could be just what you need to help you fall asleep quicker and improve all-round sleep quality. Research shows that white rice has a high glycemic index which has been linked to improved sleep and longer sleep duration.
Turkey is an excellent source of protein and research suggests that protein before bed promotes better sleep quality. But turkey specifically has a few great vitamins and contains amino acid which helps to regulate the sleep-regulating hormone melatonin.
For the adults, eating a handful of almonds or walnuts a couple of hours before bed has been shown to improve sleep quality. Almonds are a source of magnesium which research links to a bet-ter night’s sleep and walnuts are also a good source of amino acid.
4. Cottage Cheese
Another food which also contains amino acid is cottage cheese. Try having some as a night time snack and accompany it with some berries for a sweeter taste- raspberries are a good option as they contain melatonin, a natural hormone that helps you regulate your sleep/wake cycle.
Lots of fruits include melatonin but try eating to two kiwis just before bed to help you doze off quicker. According to research, kiwis help your body to relax which makes going to sleep for the night that bit easier.
Try making more fish-based dinners to beat a restless night. With an excellent source of vitamin B6, fish, more specifically salmon and tuna, is said to help with a better night’s sleep.
Swap your usual desert for a bowl of oats. Oats are another great source of melatonin which will help your body regulate it’s internal sleep clock. Oats don’t just have to be for breakfast, add milk and get creative with some fruit and honey for a sweeter taste after dinner.
8. Leafy Greens
Adding leafy greens like kale, lettuce or mustard greens into your diet are said to guarantee a bet-ter’ night’s sleep as well as all of the other health benefits you get from them. But if you don’t man-age to get them into your diet, before you got to bed simmer three large lettuce leaves in a cup of water for 15 mins and drink it before you go to bed.
Some of these foods may be already firm-favourites with your child or may have given you some ideas on new things for you to introduce if you’re at the start of their weaning journey. Lots of par-ents try offering breakfast at bed time to encourage a better night’s sleep for their child, so oats and fruit could be a great place to start.
See the award-winning Nutribaby(+) and Nutribaby(+) XL here – the easy way to wean and cook wholesome healthy meals for the whole family!