Sleep expert reveals the unlikely food that can help your child nod off

As the six-week holiday comes to a close and kids go back to school, getting back into a routine can be a nightmare.

A quick Google search shows that parents are frantically searching for "sleep aids for children" and asking questions such as "how much sleep do children need?"

While the evenings remain light but the summer fun ends, it's important they get enough sleep to be able to function properly at school.

And while a full day of classes, school friends and learning is enough to tire the most energetic of children out, if you're still struggling to get your little one to nod off, these tips might be useful.

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Sleep expert Chireal Shallow, in partnership with Bloom and Blossom, spoke to Daily Star Online exclusively.

Chireal offered three tips that might help children with their sleep routine:

Bedtime routine doesn’t just start at night

Chireal explains: "When children are stimulated both mentally and physically, it allows them to exercise their brain and muscles, so they can develop and grow.

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“Once they’ve gone through this stage of stimulation and growth, there needs to be a time of pause, repair and restoration. Which is why creating a good bedtime routine shouldn’t just take place in the hours before bedtime, it needs to be done throughout the day."

The sleep expert points out it's important to choose the right activity at the right time, such as running around in the morning and reading a book before bed.

Cottage cheese can really help your child get a good night’s sleep

Chireal reveals a snack that can also help get your children to nod off.

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She explains: "Feeding children snacks such as cottage cheese before bed may sound absurd, but it is full of the amino acid tryptophan, which can increase serotonin levels.

"Top the cheese with raspberries to appeal to a child’s sweet tooth, as these are rich sources of melatonin, the sleep hormone.

"If you’re feeling really adventurous you could even add turkey or salmon to a pre-bedtime snack. I would suggest doing this an hour or two before bed so your child can properly digest the food.”

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A familiar scent can go a long way

The sleep expert says that familiar scents can help children feel calm and safe at bedtime.

She suggests trying the Bloom and Blossom Dream Catcher’s Pillow Spray, £9.99, every night.

Chireal explains: "It comes with personalisable stickers, so that your child can make each bottle their own and spray it every night to fight off monsters and spray ‘happy dreams’ around their bedroom, before bed."

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