Foods That Help Kids Sleep


At 5 Little Monkeys, we're dedicated to helping kids (and families) everywhere improve sleep hygiene. To further that goal, we've worked hard to design one of the best kids mattresses on the market – but beyond our mom-approved children's mattress, we strive to be a comprehensive resource to parents on all aspects of healthy sleep. The truth is, virtually everything can impact a child's sleep, including non-obvious factors like diet. So if you're looking for more ways to support your child's healthy growth and development, here are a few great foods you can incorporate into your child's diet for healthier sleep.

Foods to Help Your Child Sleep

Your child's diet can affect their health, growth, mood, and much more – including their sleep. It may come as a surprise, but the foods your child eats can have a direct impact on the quality of their shut-eye every night. Make the most of your child's diet by incorporating these great foods and bedtime snacks for healthier, more restful sleep:

  • Dairy: Dairy products like milk, cheese, and yogurt all contain the amino acid tryptophan, which stimulates the production of the drowsiness-inducing neurotransmitter serotonin. A small serving of dairy about an hour before bed can help your little one feel drowsy and ready to lie down for the night.
  • Whole-Grain Carbs: Carbohydrates, when combined with tryptophan-containing foods, make the amino acid more available to the body and thus more effective in bringing on drowsiness. Try combining dairy or another tryptophan-containing food with whole wheat crackers or whole grain toast for an even more effective bedtime snack.
  • Bananas: Finally, bananas offer one of the most effective bedtime snacks for inducing drowsiness. Bananas contain melatonin, a hormone that causes drowsiness, as well as serotonin. They also pack magnesium and potassium, which act as muscle relaxers and work to calm the body. Add some banana slices to your bedtime snack to really help your child get ready for bed.

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Served in small portions, these foods can work as a great bedtime snack to help your child's body prepare for sleep, soothe your child's sleep anxiety, and prepare your little one for a night of healthy, restful sleep. However, in addition to diet, your child's mattress is critical to the quality of their sleep. At 5 Little Monkeys, we've worked hard to create one of the best kids mattresses on the market, and we've seen how effective it is firsthand with our own kids. If you have more questions about our mattress or want to try it for yourself, we'd love to hear from you – just reach out to us at our contact page to learn more about how we can help your family experience the power of truly healthy sleep.