Does your child have trouble falling or staying asleep? Don’t worry, it’s not at all uncommon. Most children will struggle with insomnia at some point in their young lives. Studies indicate that as many as 1 out of 5 will experience insomnia and about half will have some type of sleep issue.
Sufficient restorative sleep is important for growth and overall health. If your child isn’t getting enough, his memory, mental health, and ability to learn and stay focused in school can be affected.
Doctors don’t recommend sleep medications for children (unless absolutely necessary), so it’s a good thing there’s loads of natural sleep remedies to try. Aside from establishing good sleep habits (going to bed at the same time every night, avoiding screens before bedtime, keeping a bedtime routine), here are our favourite natural remedies for insomnia.
Natural Sleep Remedies
It’s always a good idea to have some chamomile around when you have kids. It’s a great herb that treats a variety of ills: colic, colds, headache, irritability, indigestion, and more. It has a mild sedative effect, so if you give your child a cup of chamomile tea before bed, it’ll help ease her into sleep.
Magnesium oil wipes
Studies have found that having insufficient magnesium in the body can lead to a host of issues, including insomnia. Fortunately, you can boost your (and your child’s) magnesium levels with supplements, sprays, and these handy Sleepy Toes Towelettes. Infused with diluted magnesium oil, these are a perfect addition to your child’s bedtime routine. It helps relieve mild anxiety and restlessness, eases growing pains, and promotes restful sleep.
Relaxing bedtime bath
Speaking of bedtime routines, make bedtime baths more soothing by using a body wash with calming essential oils. The Base Collective’s Hair and Body Wash contains the sleep inducing combo of lavender and chamomile, and is infused with magnesium to soothe tired muscles and cramps. Jack N Jill’s Serenity Body Wash uses white cyprus and lavender for relaxation.
Amp up the bath’s relaxing effect with an aromatherapy balm like Badger’s Night Night Balm or The Base Collective’s Baby Balm. Night Night Balm has a sleep promoting blend of lavender, Roman chamomile, sandalwood, mandarin, and spearmint, while Baby Balm contains lavender, chamomile, and magnesium. Both smell divine and will have your child drifting off to sleep in minutes.
If you have a diffuser, add some lavender oil or this Child Calming Remedy blend to induce the zzz’s.
White noise machine or apps
Some children find it easier to sleep with a white noise machine that generates soothing sounds. If you don’t have one, use a fan or an app on your phone. You can also try playing calming nature sounds or instrumental music. Set the mood by dimming the lights half an hour before bedtime, turning off all distractions, and turning on the white noise. This can train your child’s brain into recognising when it’s time to sleep.
Sleep inducing foods
Certain foods support the production of melatonin and tryptophan, both of which are essential to a healthy sleep cycle. Rice, bananas, ginger, porridge oats, radishes, and tomatoes are rich in melatonin while chicken, fish, beans, pulses, eggs, dairy, and sprouted grains are rich in tryptophan. If your child is having trouble sleeping, try to give her these foods at night. But don’t push your child to eat more at dinner, as a heavy meal right before bed will actually make falling asleep more difficult.
Mum should be sleeping well, too
Your sleep habits also have an impact on your family’s well being. A recent study showed that children sleep more poorly if their mums suffer from insomnia symptoms. These children fall asleep later, don’t get enough sleep, and spend less time in the restorative deep sleep stage. Interestingly, whether or not the fathers also experienced insomnia didn’t seem to affect the children’s sleep habits. If you’re dealing with insomnia, we have some natural remedies for adults here.
While sleep problems are common among children and adolescents, chronic insomnia may be related to conditions like ADHD, depression, sleep apnoea, and thyroid disease. If something doesn’t feel right, check with your doctor right away.
Please note: Always consult your doctor before incorporating essential oils, herbs, and supplements into your or your family’s sleep routine.
Have you used a natural remedy to help with your child’s sleep? Let us know what works for you in the comments below.
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