Drinking Warm Milk Before Bed Enables Sleep: Wives’ Tale or Wellness Tip?
Having a snack before bed can actually help your kids sleep better. Does drinking a warm beverage, like a warm glass of milk, have the same impact? According to Sue Illg, a Family Life Specialist at Sanford CHILD Services, the impact changes from child to child. “Milk has lots of nutritional value; vitamins, amino acids, proteins, and a small amount of melatonin which could potentially help to encourage a natural sleep cycle,” says Sue. “However, milk does have sugar in it, so the potential for your child to stay active and stimulated is still there.”
If your child has a snack or drink before bed, one way to ensure that your child sleeps well is to serve something nutritious. Snacks like fresh fruit, whole-grain toast, and oatmeal provide kids with complex carbohydrates that activate hormones to allow them to have a good night’s rest. Another tip for snacking before bed is to enjoy your snacks and drinks ahead of time to aid in better digestion.
Physical Activity Before Bed Makes Children More Tired: Wives’ Tale or Wellness Tip?
What about being active before bed? It helps to wear them out so they sleep harder, right? Children definitely need time to be physically active throughout the day, but according to Sue, most children need down time before bed to unwind and relax. This allows the body and brain to have time to calm down naturally, and to transition from active playtime to a sleep routine.
An easy way to make the entire night-time process simpler is to establish a routine! A simple night-time routine can have a very soothing effect on children. Routines provide calmness and give the child a secure feeling of knowing what to expect. Routines don’t have to be ridged, but children will benefit from doing the same things, in the same way, at about the same time every night. Every child’s routine is different and their routine really depends on their temperament and habits.
“Take the time to get to know your child’s temperament, and you’ll have an inside look into the subconscious cues,” says Sue. “Knowing your child’s sleep cues will help prevent meltdowns and overtiredness.”
So next time you’re getting ready for bed, take a step back and look at what you’re doing. Unplug your devices, brush your teeth, and get into bed. We’ll see you in the morning.
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