Can What We Eat Impact Our Sleep?

Can What We Eat Impact Our Sleep?

can what we eat impact our sleep?

Miriam is the founder of Mimi’s Bowl she cooks modern baby and toddler recipes, from her home in West London. Mum to one little girl, now 3 years old, and her mission is to end, what she calls “baby food panic”. Miriam shares daily what they eat at home, via her Instagram feed; she is well worth a follow for fun, parent-friendly recipes and ideas.

As a Mum and food blogger I write about quick parent-friendly recipes and share what we eat at home. Food is often such a big part of our daily routine, but equally important is sleep. For me (I am currently carrying baby number two) and caring for my boisterous three-year-old daughter: sleep has never been more important or needed.

I wanted to look a bit more into the connection between what we eat and how we sleep. As any parent of small children will tell you: sleep, or lack of sleep is the biggest challenge. I can admit to being slightly obsessed with finding out how to improve sleep routines and sleep quality. In researching this piece, I spoke with paediatric dietician Bianca Parau about the connection between food and sleep. Her key advice was the timing of meals, eating too much before just before bedtime will keep small children awake. She recommends implementing an evening routine: supper, followed by bath-time and then quiet time, or story time, before bed. To help little ones unwind from all the day’s adventures and ease into their night time routine.

She also strongly suggested avoiding gas-forming foods in the evening meal: foods such as cauliflower, broccoli and cabbage. All are of course a brilliant addition to the day’s meals, but not as the last meal of the day. Perhaps just as important as what foods we should avoid in the evenings, is what foods we should eat? Bianca recommends foods rich in tryptophan, an essential amino acid that acts as a mood regulator; it has the ability to help balance hormones naturally and has a natural calming effect upon the body. Where can you find tryptophan? It is present in most protein-based foods, or dietary proteins. So, to help I have written the following two recipes: which include ingredients which are good sources of tryptophan. One includes oats, which are a great source of soluble fibre and help little tummies stay fuller for longer. May these recipes bring you the sleep we all need and deserve!

- Crunchy Chicken Nuggets; you can find out how to make these delicious nugs here.
- Homemade Oat Bars; you can get baking these with the recipe which you can find here.

Written by mum Miriam Cooper, in consultation with Bianca Parau, For more information and recipes from Miriam, you can have a look at her website, Instagram, Facebook or Twitter page!

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