8 foods that can actually help your baby sleep better (no really – it's true)
If you have a baby that just won't sleep, we bet you are have pretty much tried every trick in the book at this stage.
You have rocked and bounced and maybe even driven aimlessly around trying to get that child to shut his bloody eyes and realize it is now (well after) bedtime.
Well, if none of those have worked, here's a new one for you: Food.
According to food expert and parenting author Annabel Karmel, food can actually help settle your baby down and make him sleep a little more peacefully.
In fact, according to the baby food guru, there is a fascinating link between what babies eat, and how they slumber. Because while some foods will make babies more alert, others will promote sleep.
“Some types of food contain stimulants which will increase energy for a period of time making you less sleepy," Karmel explains. "Other types of food produce chemicals in the brain that promote calm and sleepiness."
In short, foods that help sleep contain a substance called tryptophan. Tryptophan then produces a brain chemical called serotonin from which melatonin is manufactured.
And melatonin is, according to Karmel, – so "essential for sleep that it’s named the ‘sleep hormone’."
Want to start harnessing the super-powers of tryptophan ASAP? Here are some examples of foods that are high in just that:
- Poultry, in particular turkey
- Dairy products – cheeses such as cheddar, gruyere and Swiss cheese have particularly high amounts of tryptophan
- Green leafy vegetables such as cabbage and spinach
- Tofu and soya products
Top Tip: For tryptophan to actually aid your child in feeling sleepy, the foods rich in the substance need to be combined with healthy carbohydrates, such as potatoes, whole wheat pasta, whole grain bread or sweet potatoes.