baby fighting sleep
Bay fighting sleep

Baby fighting sleep

Sleep. Something that is not well known is how poor sleep – both quality and quantity- affects our children.

Rather than walking around like a zombie –like adults do, children often become hyperactive. And they will fight sleep. In fact, according to this New York Times article, “sleep experts note that children who lose as little as half an hour of much needed sleep per night — whether it is because of a sleep disorder or just staying up too late texting or playing video games — They can exhibit classical behaviors that are typical of A.D.H.D.

This misdiagnosis is extreley stigmatizing, but treatment of A.D.H.D. can make sleep issues worse. It is sleeplessness that is the real problem. The drugs used to treat A.D.H.D., like Ritalin, Adderall or Concerta, can cause insomnia.. And that is what needs to be resloved. Resolve the sleep issue and you can lower the typical ADHD symptoms.

Inadequate sleep increases inflammation markers in our bodies and lowers immune function. Newer research also suggests that it may interfere with a process we are just learning about, which is that the brain appears to flush toxins while we sleep.

Image result for childs immune system from lack of sleep

There is an increase in Obesity. According to a study published in the journal Pediatrics, “Children who get less sleep in infancy and early childhood may be at greater risk of being overweight or obese during mid-childhood . .

Meanwhile, the Journal of Sleep & Sleep Disorders Research states that “Abnormalities in sleep quantity, sleep quality, circadian alignment, and melatonin regulation increase the risk of type 2 diabetes.”

1- Help Them Wind Down With Safe Herbs

Catnip, chamomile, and passion flower are all gentle, kid-safe herbs that assist with relaxation. In addition to their popularity among herbalists and even children’s books (remember how Peter Rabbits mom used to put him to bed with chamomile tea?), these herbs are now making their way into research.

Some awesome products are : Herbal Calm for Kids

In addition, one study showed that lavender’s aroma improved sleep in individuals suffering from insomnia. When brewed as a tea, lavender buds release their aroma while adding flavor.

I would add Melatonin to this. It is a natural way to help your child wind down and sleep and also to stay asleep.

There is also a product that combine both herbs plus melatonin. http://luna-kids–1-sleep-aid-tablets-for-children-4-and-sensitive-adult-a

Image result for essential oils for kids sleep

2- Essential Oils

Here I will list a few oils that are generally considered safe for use with children along with some different ways to use them. First, here are few oil suggestions:

  • Lavender
  • Sweet Orange
  • Cedarwood
  • Roman Chamomile
  • Marjoram
  • Vetiver
  • Sandalwood

Pillow Spray: Make drifting off to sleep sweeter with a simple relaxing pillow spray. Mix 30 drops lavender essential oil* with 3 tablespoons vodka and stir. Add 3 tablespoons water and pour mixture into a 4 ounce spray bottle. Children love to spray their own pillows.

Diffuser Blend: Alternately, you can place 10 drops in a diffuser and let it run in the bedroom for about thirty minutes prior to bedtime and about fifteen minutes after the child has gone to bed.

Topical Application:

  • 1% dilution for ages 2-5 (1 drop of essential oil in one teaspoon carrier oil)
  • 1.5% dilution for ages 6-15 (3 drops of essential oil in two teaspoons carrier oil)

3- Audio books, classical music– Amazingly , as early as the firs day, children have a physiological response to the sounds in the environment around them. Even in utero they can hear and respond to music and sounds! In this study, infants heart rates, respiration rates and oxygen saturation levels changed based on the type of music played nearby.

4: Homeopothy– It has been found that homeopothy will work with children and sleep. There are several products that work wonders for kids!

Genexa Sleepology for Children 

This can be found here

5– Rethink the nightlight

 Computer screens, t.v.’s, phones and even regular light bulbs emit blue light, which the body perceives like sunlight. According to some studies, blue light exposure after sundown can suppress the release of melatonin, which tells our body it’s almost time for bed. 

6- Visit the chiropractor

Though there are only a few small studies that have found a positive relationship between chiropractic care and sleep, it is thought to have a calming effect on the Central Nervous System (CNS).

7- Have a routine

Children who follow a regular routine before their bedtime, fall asleep more quickly, wake much less often during the night, and they sleep for an extra hour on average, concluded this study.

Image result for essential oils for kids sleep

8- Do not over shedule

Exercise is important but too much structured activities like sports can rev up a child. After school activities should be in moderation and that is the key. Regular outside play is essential. But make sure nothing puts a child’s bedtime later or doesn’t give him/her time to wind down before beforehand.

Did I miss something? Please share what’s helped your little ones in the comments below!