Guest Blog by Lizzie King- Nutritional Health Coach, author, graduate of Leith’s School of Cookery and founder of Lizzie Loves Healthy.
Before the cherry chat, my top tipple every night for which is calming, delicious and packed with nature’s relaxing gem, magnesium is:
No. 1 Top Tip: SOUR CHERRY
The magical Sour Cherry Juice that I can not wax more lyrical about as it gives me sleeping kids is:
I have had HUNDREDS of messages from you telling me your cherry juice sleep stories which makes me so happy, saving anyone from sleep deprivation is really a fabulous feeling, so thank you for letting me know. And I really want to pass this on, it is based on clear, scientific studies, and it has worked for me and clearly LOTS of other people, so do give it a try if you’re at the end of your tether.*
Just a few of the ton of messages from happy sleeping families:
This is the study that I found in October backing up the cherry juice sleep link:
The new study was published in the European Journal of Medicine at the end of October and shows that tart cherry juice can improve the quality of your sleep, your sleep duration, and help reduce the need for daytime napping. The research team found that adults who drank two 1 ounce servings of tart cherry juice per day experienced a demonstrable increase in sleep efficiency as well as a 39 minute increase in average sleep duration. To read the whole article click here.
The Sour Cherry Magic Potion I devised after reading this to get us all some more sleep has been incredibly successful for hundreds of others too.
This is how it worked for us, but I would say as a guide:
- To be used on 6 months plus
- It is fruit juice, so it is not harmful
- Adjust dose according to age – 5 ml twice for 6 months, 10 ml twice for 9 months, 15ml twice for 12 months plus
I use two doses of this a day in times of trouble – either in the smoothie recipe below, or just in plant-based yogurt/milk or syringed in like medicine!
1st at 4pm and 2nd at 6pm and it’s worked a treat:
Or the bigger version that I’ve got as we finished the other bottle in 4 days…..
Melatonin is the master sleep hormone and we make it naturally in the body, but with jet-lag, insomnia or the pesky clock change we can get out of whack, one of the only foods that has high enough levels are Sour Cherries! And this magical drink is the bomb. It has been shown to add an HOUR of sleep to kids in the latest research! Just add this to some plant-based yoghurt with a dash of honey and whizz it up. Cherry Juice Magic – for an hour more sleep!
Option A- SOUR CHERRY SLEEP SMOOTHIE:
- Cherry Juice (above) 1 tbsp, 15 ml
- 1 banana
- 1/2 cup coconut yoghurt
Option B- SOUR CHERRY SLEEP TONIC:
- 15 ml Cherry juice, above
- 100 ml fizzy water
- Spritz of apple or orange juice
*I am not a Doctor or medical professional so please consult a Doctor if your problems persist.
**A good diet, the timings of other naps and physical activity also have a huge impact on sleep, so do make sure you address these too. And teething, illness or other events that can disrupt sleep may not be helped, so do bear in mind, this is not a miracle!
For grown-ups, another great sleep, calming and anti-anxiety help is these sleeping pills, which are a brilliant combination of 5 HTP, Magnesium and the magic Cherry melatonin too. They help you get to sleep faster, stay asleep longer and feel rested when you wake up, unlike some of the sleeping pills out there:
No. 2 Top Tip: BOOST TRYPTOPHAN
Its’s an amino acid that calms with natural sedative properties so just the job; potatoes, millet, butter beans, seeds, spinach, nuts all have high levels, so try these out.
No. 3 Top Tip: MAGNESIUM BODY SPRAY
Magnesium is often something we’re lacking, but is a crucial mineral and especially useful when it comes to winding down as it helps the muscles relax. Foods like cashews, avocados, and dates have lots, and a great one is a banana before bed, as they have magnesium, potassium and melatonin so you get the trio!
I bought this oil last year and I spritz it on lower arms when we’re having a tough time getting to sleep, it works really well! Better You Magnesium Oil Goodnight Spray 100ml or the pillow spray: Tisserand 100 ml Sweet Dreams Pillow Mist
No. 4. Top Tip: LAVENDER
Lavender has been used as a sleep aid for centuries and studies have shown that it not only helps get your to sleep faster, it makes you sleep better AND feel more refreshed in the morning. Again, this delicious misting spray that you spritz onto the pillow before bed has been used in our house for ages and it REALLY DOES WORK: Tisserand 100 ml Sweet Dreams Pillow Mist
No. 5 Top Tip: DARKNESS
These peace silk eye masks are fabulous for blocking light while also protecting your skin: White & Green Eye Mask
Or light...I know some children just need a bit of light to keep them happy, and this night light looks like a winner: Lexibook NLJ030PJM PJ Masks Night Light
Lizzie's son relaxing on his Mum's White & Green bed sheets!
No. 6 Top Tip: ALL THE CLASSICS THAT I SOMETIMES FORGET
These can make a difference when you’re wrangling with lack of sleep on all fronts:
- No screens just before bed (phones, ipads, video games, laptops, TVs etc!)
- Blackout blinds are crucial and guess what? You can now buy portable blinds for when you are not at home. They are my essential travel kit for kids of any age, you are BUYING SLEEP I promise! They have saved me on weekends away, holidays and even in the car! Easynight portable travel blackout blind.
- Routine of time and story etc helps kids to get ready for sleep
- Simple but so damn crucial is the no sugar thing, and most particularly before bed, get rid of those sneaky fruity yoghurts and snack bars that just spike the sugar levels and make bedtime a nightmare!
This is a fascinating book (Why We Sleep: The New Science of Sleep and Dreams) full of new research about just how crucial that elusive sleep really is, if you need any more persuading to get yourself downing cherry juice and getting to bed earlier, this is it:
“The shorter your sleep, the shorter your life”
Good luck and let’s hope we can get more of that magical elixir all round.