Parenting | 1 September 2016Back to School Success: Help Kids Naturally Sleep Better Share article facebook twitter google pinterest Fall is nearing, and kids everywhere are going back to school. For school to be fun-filled and productive, kids need a good night’s sleep to re-energize after their busy days. When our kids develop insomnia, it can be disconcerting and down right disruptive to their entire routine. Thankfully, Natural Remedies for Kids helps parents tackle insomnia in natural ways that have little risk of side effects and often require nothing more than simple lifestyle changes. Photo by Fair Winds Press Sleeplessness WHAT CAUSES IT? Irritants: environment/food allergies or sensitivities Infection: current or prolonged viral/bacterial infections Body regulation: vitamin/mineral deficiency, caffeine or other stimulants, sleep disorders, emotional stress/trauma, mental/behavioral health conditions, side effect to medication/ supplement, or sensory disorders The occasional trouble sleeping is no big deal, but some children have issues for days on end. That’s what needs looking into. WHAT TO WATCH FOR: The occasional bout of insomnia is no big deal, and a child will usually make up for it in the next day or two. But ongoing insomnia, especially if it takes hours to fall asleep, if the child is waking every 40 to 90 minutes all night, or is up by 3 or 4 a.m. and can’t go back to sleep, can start to take a serious toll on the family. A child who is seriously sleep deprived may encounter emotional and developmental issues (both physical and mental). A parent who is sleep deprived from being up with their nonsleeping child may be more irritable and suffer from anxiety or depression. Serious sleep deprivation should be evaluated by a doctor or professional sleep clinic. Mild to moderate insomnia usually has some cause, which may be obvious. For example, children who are sick or teething may not sleep much. other children get into a phase where they are scared of the dark or being alone at night and don’t want to go to sleep. These are usually phases that last a few days to a few months, and with some patience and creativity, parents can help their children find peace at night. Serious insomnia can last for weeks to years and requires professional help. A professional can run the necessary tests to figure out what is causing your child’s insomnia. It may require weeks or months to figure out and stop. HOW TO TREAT IT: More Daytime Activity: Some children can’t sleep well because their bodies aren’t physically tired, even though they are sleepy. Try more activity, especially in the morning or late afternoon (after nap, before dinner). Lots of time to run around, jump, climb, etc., can help children be physically ready to lie down when it’s time to sleep. Photo by Fair Winds Press Magnesium Lotion: Sometimes, magnesium deficiency can keep children awake (adults, too) or cause middle-of-the-night waking and inability to fall back asleep. Buy magnesium commercially or make the recipe in this book on page 163, and rub a very small amount on your child’s legs or tummy just before bed. This has often been the “magic” solution for our children when we couldn’t figure out why else they were awake. Contraindications: For external use only. Use only a small amount, about a ¼ to ½ teaspoon; too much can cause loose stools. Monster Spray: Many toddlers and preschoolers go through a phase where they will not sleep because they are afraid of monsters in their room. Try making “monster spray” (water in a spray bottle; add a tiny bit of soap for bubbles if you want) and let your child spray it around his or her room before going to bed. Many children will get over their fear in a matter of days if they feel they have some control over the situation. We also tried giving one of our children a small keychain that we said was special and would keep her safe from monsters—it worked. Diet Change: Some kids struggle with sleep because they are eating foods they are allergic to or that contain too much sugar. one of our children was waking frequently due to food allergies, and once we cut the allergens out of her diet, she began to sleep much better. Top culprits are dairy, gluten, soy, peanuts, or tree nuts. Try removing one of these, especially if there are other symptoms (stomachaches, eczema, lots of tantrums, chronic diaper rash, or diarrhea). Consider a structured multiple-elimination diet, such as Paleo or Whole 30, to identify an allergen. See a nutritionist for help if you are not sure. Photo by Fair Winds Press Buy from an Online Retailer In North America: Natural Remedies for Kids is an easy-to-use reference for parents who are ready to take their family’s health into their own hands by using over 100 natural and herbal remedies to help common ailments at home. There’s no need to rush off to the doctor at the first sign of sniffles or fever! Instead, understand what each symptom may be a sign of, how to help treat that symptom naturally, and how to help your child rest comfortably until the illness is over. Find out if the symptoms may be serious enough to warrant a call to the doctor. Then, learn to prepare one of the many recipes for home remedies found within the book to help your child naturally. Clear up common conditions like: – Diaper rash – Eczema – Runny noses – Coughs – Sore throats – Upset stomach – Teething – and more Find tips and hints from Kate Tietje on which remedies are best for which issues. Discover the time-tested treatments that will help to keep your child healthy and happy, naturally! Share article facebook twitter google pinterest If you have any comments on this article please contact us or get in touch via social media.