Toddler’s poor sleeping cured by a banana

After years of broken nights, Aaron now sleeps through - thanks to a yellow bedtime snack


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


Maryann Battersy, 34, 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.

Maryann said: “We were really at our wits’ end.

“We’d done everything to try and get Aaron to sleep and I would dread what the nights would hold.

“The lack of sleep was also affecting his behaviour during the day. He would hit himself, headbutt people and scream.

“He would also grind his teeth and fidget a lot – tell-tale signs of sleep deprivation.”

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

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.

Banana cure

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. There, the mum was advised to give Aaron half a banana before bed.

Maryann took the advice and now Aaron sleeps through the night from 8pm to 7am.

She said: “Now we are a normal family. Aaron goes to bed and then me and Matthew can sit down together and have time together.

“Aaron is amazing now – he’s a happy little boy.”

So why is the banana working?

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). 

No doubt Maryann doesn’t mind why it works – it just does for Aaron!

Does it work for anyone else? Here’s what our mums said…

A few of you have tried this very trick and – hey presto – it’s a winner!

Samantha M told us: “Our 3-year-old son was waking up in the night. He 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!”

And then we got this tip from Laura C – “Lettuce is good too apparently.” Oooh interesting – we’d love to know more…

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