Toddler’s poor sleeping cured by a banana – so we tested it

After years of broken nights, Aaron now sleeps through. It's all down to a yellow bedtime snack - according to his parents

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A 3-year-old boy who couldn’t sleep through the night has apparently been cured of his sleeplessness… by bananas.

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A mum from Rotherham, had lost of all hope of ever getting her son Aaron to have a restful night.

According to the Daily Mail, Aaron was born 14 weeks premature and had to be woken every hour in hospital for a feed. When he was allowed home at the age of 4 months, the sleepless nights continued into toddlerhood.

Aaron would wake up screaming, complaining of monsters and spiders. He would also jump out of bed at 3am leaving his parents exhausted.

His mum Maryann tried everything to get Aaron to sleep including soothing music, orange lights, a heavy quilt and even changing the décor of his room but nothing worked.

Aaron was also medicated with melatonin – the hormone that regulates the body’s daily cycle – but that failed too.

Try a banana…

Finally, Maryann contacted sleep expert Vicki Dawson who is founder of The Children’s Sleep Charity. Vicki invited Maryann to a sleep workshop at Sheffield Children’s Hospital, and it was there that Maryann was advised to give Aaron half a banana before bed.

Maryann took the advice and, incredibly, Aaron slept through the night from 8pm to 7am. And the next, and the next…

“Now we are a normal family,” she said. “Aaron is amazing now – he’s a happy little boy.”

So what’s the science behind the banana working as a sleep aid?

Bananas contain some interesting nutrients and minerals, that may help us relax. They’re a good source of both magnesium and potassium, which are known to be muscle relaxants. They also contain tryptophan, which the body can convert to serotonin and then to melatonin, causing sleepiness. However, there has yet to be scientific proof that foods high in tryptophan send you to sleep.

What is known is that a meal rich in carbohydrates does make us sleepy, and bananas pack more carbohydrates in a bite than most other fruits (due to their low water content).

Does it work for anyone else? Here’s what happened when MadeForMums parents tested the banana solution…

It got a mixed response – perhaps that’s just statistical sense or it may depend on your child…

Samantha M told us: “Our 3-year-old son was waking up in the night. He now has half a banana before bed and doesn’t wake up anymore.”

But some of you weren’t convinced. “My daughter lives on bananas and she’s awake most nights,” says Charlie B.

And Jennifer W said:  “I tried it with my 3-year-old who has a sleep disorder – all it made her do is want to eat bananas in the middle of the night!”

Laura C suggested another food. “Lettuce is good too apparently.” One to try, perhaps, if the banana doesn’t work.

Pic: Getty Images – Posed by model

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