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Bedwetting | How to encourage dry nights, with expert child nutrition tips

Yvonne Wake, DryNites® ConfidentNites® nutritionist

Posted: 9 August 2016
by Catherine Hudson

How does eating ‘good’ food ensure a good night’s sleep?

Healthy food helps us to feel satisfied and less hungry, which in turn aids sleep. It’s important to ensure we eat the correct macro-nutrients such as protein rich foods and complex carbs throughout the day - grains like cous cous or quinoa work well. This enhances Tryptophan, an amino acid which helps to induce sleep. Our bodies don’t produce Tryptophan, so it has to come from our diet. In order to ensure it reaches our brains effectively it is key to combine carbs with protein to make it available to our brains. Things like seeds, cheeses, fish and eggs are all rich in Tryoptophan. It’s also important to ensure the last meal of the day is light and nutritious so as not to cause any digestive problems which could inhibit sleep.

What ‘good’ food is great for making kids sleepy?

Protein and carbohydrates should always be included in children’s last meal of the day.  If your child eats a snack at supper before going to bed, things like banana on wholemeal toast with a splash of honey is a light bedtime snack which induces sleep and contains Tryptophan.  You can’t go wrong with animal or plant proteins combined with a complex carbohydrate (for example whole wheat or brown bread). Aside from helping your child get a good night’s sleep these types of food are also better for their overall health.

Is there any kind of food that we can feed kids as a snack at night to stop them needing a wee in the night?

Unfortunately there’s not a specific food to stop bedwetting but parents may find it helpful to reduce liquid intake before bedtime, although children should be encouraged to drink lots during the day.

How long before bed should kids stop eating/drinking?

Many parents believe that children shouldn’t be given drinks after 4pm, but, [in my opinion], this could in fact make the situation worse as limiting drinks may cause dehydration. It also reduces the amount the bladder can hold before getting the sensation of fullness. Make sure your child has plenty to drink throughout the day and goes to the toilet regularly to develop good bladder habits. Limiting drinks an hour or so before bed may help but thirsty children should never be denied a drink.

Read all of the 'stop bedwetting' top tips from the experts: 

Visit to find out more about the ConfidentNites® Guide for helpful advice on bedwetting from DryNites®.

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