Is Your Child’s Diet Affecting Their Sleep?

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Child sleeping problems are some of the most trying, testing issues that parents will ever experience. Every parents knows of the bed time battle, however just as common are issues relating to children waking up in the middle of the night, or very early in the morning, disrupting the rest of the household and, more importantly, not getting enough sleep so as to effect their brain development and educational attainment. These issues can, strangely enough, be attributed to a child’s diet. Which foods are the culprits? Why do they have this effect on kids?

DHA

If your child is unable to settle at night, it could be due to their not getting enough DHA in their diets. DHA is an omega 3 fatty acid, often found in things such as fish oils, that has a massive effect on brain development and concentration. The acid also assists in the brain’s production of serotonin, a chemical that calms the emotions of human beings. Children with a persistent lack of DHA have been found to have more tantrums, learning issues and sleep problems.

Additives

You’ve bought new curtains, gone online to Bedstar and bought them a new, more comfortable bed, and still they refuse to sleep soundly. It’s a nightmare, but one that could be down to the additives that reside in your child’s food. E numbers- artificial colourings and flavourings that are added by food companies into their products to make them more appealing- are the main problem here. Cut them out of your child’s diet and you’ll immediately notice an effect on their behaviour, sleeping patterns and educational attainment!

Food Intolerance

We like to think that we know everything about our children, and being aware of food intolerances and allergies is often the first thing we can attest to being aware of. The issue is though that sometimes allergies and intolerances can be very slight, affecting people in a way that isn’t obvious. In younger children especially, lactose intolerance is very widespread- studies have shown that when these children were taken off products that featured cow’s milk, they normalised within weeks, and failed to wake up at night after a short period. Try out your own mini-study at home- it could be just what your child needs!

If your child is persistently waking up at night and you have tried these steps, it may be a good idea to visit your physician; the cause is likely to be something benign, and given the importance of sleep it’s best to sort out any issues early on!

Image Source http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c0/Human-Male-White-Newborn-Baby-Crying.jpg

1 comment / Add your comment below

  1. Some good points here! Mushroom has never been a great sleeper from the start but I do notice he sleeps better when we eat better… And the time he eats can have an impact too, regardless of what he’s eating… As for food intolerances, it’s a funny one isn’t it? They are so easy to miss/attribute to other things.

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