The secret to a great night's sleep

The secret to getting children to sleep on Christmas Eve

Our sleep expert, Dr Nerina has revealed the one ingredient guaranteed to get excited children to sleep on Christmas Eve, before Santa arrives.

The answer: turkey.

 Turkey contains high levels of the tryptophan, an amino acid which promotes serotonin production. Eating it helps to stabilise blood sugar and when it's eaten late in the afternoon or early evening it can induce sleepiness.

Dr Nerina said: "Throw tradition out the window and roast your turkey up for a delicious Christmas Eve supper. Children are going to be over excited and inevitably full of sugar in the run up to the big day and trying to stick to their usual routine and get them to wind down is probably not going to work.

"A nice helping of turkey will counteract the sugar rush, and lead to deeper more restorative sleep, meaning you and your little ones will wake up feeling refreshed and full of energy on christmas morning, and you won't have to resort to threats of Father Christmas not visiting! There's also no harm in eating some of the leftovers on Christmas day."

Dr Nerina's top five sleep inducing snacks:

  1. Walnuts and cashews (high in Tryptophan)

  2. Cherries (high in melatonin)

  3. Apricots and raisins (high in vitamin B6 to enhance the production of melatonin)

  4. Seeds (high in potassium and magnesium to relax muscles)

  5. Oranges (high in potassium)

What do you think? Will you be serving a roast turkey on Christmas Eve?

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