12 Foods That Cause Night Terrors in Toddlers

Night terrors in kids are like scary dreams but a bit different. The child is not fully awake or fully asleep; they’re somewhere between. So, what causes night terrors in children? Scientists still need to understand why they happen.

However, some things can increase the intensity, like certain foods that cause night terrors in toddlers. 

These foods affect everyone in different ways. Let’s talk in detail about it. 

Foods That Cause Night Terrors in Toddlers

Unsurprisingly, food plays a role, considering how it affects our bodies. Kids, being small and still growing, might be more vulnerable. 

Many times, these foods only affect people who are sensitive to them. The key is experimenting by cutting out one type of food at a time. It will assist in identifying foods that may be causing sleep issues.

Now let’s explore these foods: 

1- Spicy Foods

Spicy foods can mess with your sleep by causing acid reflux and indigestion. They also affect your body’s temperature control, leading to night terrors. 

With their sensitive taste buds, kids may find spicy foods too much to handle.

2- Anything With Hot Sauce

Hot sauce can cause the same sleep issues as spicy foods. Your kid might be adding hot sauce to their meals without realizing it’s affecting their sleep.

Consider removing hot sauce from the table if it’s causing problems.

3- Candy And Other Sweet Treats

Having sweet treats before bedtime isn’t reasonable for kids or adults. It can mess with blood sugar levels, making it harder to sleep. 

It’s best to cut down on your child’s candies, cakes, and ice cream at night. 

4- Chocolate

Chocolate has sugar and caffeine, and kids are sensitive to caffeine. Even a little chocolate before bedtime could affect their sleep. 

Choose wisely and save chocolate treats for earlier in the day.

5- Highly Processed Food

Processed foods lack nutrients, are full of carbs, and have additives. They can cause digestive issues, impact sleep, and raise blood pressure. 

It’s good to be cautious and choose whole foods over processed ones, especially for your kids. 

6- Pickles

Some research suggests pickles may contribute to nightmares in adults, and it might affect kids too. Watch out for any signs that pickles are causing sleep issues.

7- Fried Food

Fried foods, high in salt and fat, can upset the digestive system. It is worse for kids, who may overeat and increase digestive issues. Limit fried foods, especially before bedtime.

8- Juice

Fruit juice has a sugar spike similar to candy. It’s best to limit it to an occasional pleasure and concentrate on eating fresh fruits regularly.

9- Fast Food

Overeating fast food can lead to weight gain. That’s why considering healthy options for your child is crucial. You can get the best diet supplements for smooth weight loss. However, consult your doctor before adding anything new to your diet regimen.

10- Meat

Protein in meat takes time to digest, which can disrupt sleep. Change the time of your meals to allow for proper digestion before going to bed.

11- Bananas

Ripe bananas with high sugar content can spike blood sugar levels. Adjust portions for kids, pairing them with high-protein ingredients like almond butter.

12- Dairy Products

While warm milk is a classic sleep aid, lactose intolerance might cause digestive issues. Ice cream, high in lactose and sugar, could be a double problem. Watch for signs of intolerance.

What Should You or Your Toddler Eat At Night?

If you still feel hungry before bedtime, or your child wants a snack, here are some safe and healthy options, foods that stop nightmares:

  1. Granola: Healthy granola with a good mix of carbs and protein, minus excessive sugar, can be a solid choice.
  2. Fresh Fruit: Fruit is generally safe, thanks to its fiber that balances natural sugars. Watch out for ripe bananas due to their high sugar content.
  3. Yogurt: Yogurt causes fewer digestive issues than many dairy options. Choose plant-based or lactose-free options, but look for additional sugars and additives.
  4. Boiled Eggs: An easy snack with a decent protein amount, boiled eggs can be a good option.
  5. Some Nuts: Nuts offer a satisfying and well-loved snack for kids without allergies. Just make sure there are no allergies before giving your child nuts.

Your child may be nutrient-deficient. Consider adjusting their diet according to the best diet plans. However, consult a doctor before adding anything new to your child’s diet. 

Remedies for Night Terrors in Toddlers

There are some remedies for night terrors in kids that you can add to your child’s daily routine, including: 

Avoid Eating Close to Bedtime

Not just trigger foods, but any food might induce digestive problems when consumed too close to bedtime.

Ideally, kids should stop eating an hour before bedtime, but a two or three-hour gap is even better. 

Practice Good Sleep Hygiene

Healthy sleeping habits are part of good sleep hygiene. It includes going to bed regularly, turning off devices at least 60 minutes before bedtime, a dark room, and relaxing your body. 

If your child wants a bedtime story, read one, as it can help them sleep early and peacefully. 

Talk to Children About Worries

Address your children’s concerns. Make them feel better. It may reduce the risk of fears influencing their dreams. 

Anything that helps reduce a child’s stress and fear is beneficial.

Final Thoughts!

Even with a cozy bed setup, many kids still experience nightmares, causing distress for both children and parents. These tips aim to help parents and kids enjoy better, more peaceful sleep.

People Also Ask

What Vitamin Deficiency Causes Night Terrors?

Night terrors can result from deficiencies in vitamins and minerals like magnesium, calcium, iron, zinc, and Vitamin B6. These deficiencies lead to lower serotonin levels in the brain, a chemical regulating sleep. 

What Foods Help with Night Terrors?

Foods rich in tryptophan, such as turkey, nuts, and seeds, may aid in reducing night terrors by promoting better sleep.

What is the Root Cause of Night Terrors?

The root cause of night terrors is not fully understood, but factors like stress, sleep deprivation, and certain medical conditions may contribute. 

Does Sugar Cause Night Terrors?

The direct link needs to be well-established. However, excessive sugar intake close to bedtime may disrupt sleep patterns. It increases the likelihood of night terrors.

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