"I can't sleep" Natural Remedies: Kids Version
Natural Sleep Aids
Moon milk is the combination of warm milk, nutmeg, and ashwagandha. That’s right ashwagandha. Now if you don’t know what this is, I’ll tell you a secret: it’s a plant. As just a plant it may not be very helpful, but ashwagandha powder has great calming power. Other ashwagandha benefits include producing REM sleep and allowing for our brain’s sleep signals to be communicated better. When paired with nutmeg, they help decrease everyday stress, block excitatory hormones and even have a mild sedative effect. Wait, children experience stress? Yes! Any event that upsets our body’s normal (called homeostasis) is stress. Luckily, children usually only experience mild forms of stress.
To make moon milk simply warm up milk and add:
- 1/4 of a teaspoon of nutmeg
- 1/4 of a teaspoon ground ashwagandha
- A teaspoon of honey, coconut oil, and 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon (for taste; optional).
Make sure that your little one (or you, if you suffer from sleep apnea or have trouble falling asleep) smell your tea because the nutmeg aromatherapy will allow sleep hormones to take over. Before you know it your eyes will be closing!
NoMo Sleepless Nights
Other aromatic essential oils, like lavendar in combination with acupressure on HT7 point will also promote drowsiness and sleep! This is the foundation for NoMo Sleepless Nights. This is a stylish kids wristband that is COMING SOON to www.NoMoNausea.com, Walmart.com, Amazon and over 6000 CVS stores (which already carry NoMo Nausea Kids). Research finds that the 3:1 combination in NoMo Sleepless Nights helps to put people off to sleep quicker and keep them asleep longer. So be on the lookout!
How to Sleep in the Best Position
Children are not small adults, which makes their anatomy and physiology remarkably different than adults. Kids and infants sleep best in particular positions that allow for easy air flow. This is because they do not have as developed inhaling (inspiratory) muscles like we do. Luckily, shifting your child’s sleep position is easy!
For INFANTS, the best position is to lie them on their back and place a small folded blanket placed under their shoulders. For CHILDREN, the best sleep position is to be on their side with one pillow under their shoulders so it forms a small ramp. This position is especially helpful if they are sick so the nasal congestion or mucus runs down with gravity. These positions open their airways and allow them to breathe easy while they are asleep.
How to Sleep in the Best Environment
It’s very important to have the most comfortable environment when your little one is falling asleep. Slight disturbances can affect your child’s sleep patterns and whether they have a restful or sleepless night. Especially if your kid is congested, whether it be from the cold, flu or allergies, they can snore really loud and the lack of oxygen, similar to minor obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), will cause them to wake up abruptly. Luckily there are plenty of easy environmental natural sleep aids. They include:
- A humidifier: This prevents your little one’s nose or mouth from drying out at night and waking up because they need water. These are especially useful in the winter when there is less moisture in the air.
- Eucalyptus oil or Vicks: Eucalyptus is wonderful for calming kids and adults alike! Just dab some on the chest. Vicks is also great at opening up the airway and works wonders when its rubbed on your child’s chest.
- Changing pillows/detergent: If you notice your kids are more stuffy than usual at night, it may be because they have an allergy to the composition of the pillow (down feathers or latex are common allergens) or the laundry detergent you use. Try a hypoallergenic pillow (stores like Bed Bath & Beyond and Walmart have them) and/or changing to a natural or “no fragrances” laundry detergent.
- Turn off the light: This is by far one of the most important factors in enduring we get adequate sleep and aren’t tossing and turning. It’s so important, I’ve given it its own little section, so keep reading!
Turn the light off!
Children's circadian cycle, in other words, their cycle of melatonin (the sleep hormone) and actually sleeping differs from adults. Kids begin producing melatonin much earlier in the day compared to adults. This is why they get tired earlier. However, light SIGNIFICANTLY interferes with melatonin production.
A new study by The Journal of Physiological Reports shows that children responded better to going off to sleep when no or very low light was utilized at least an hour before anticipated sleep. Basically, before you plan on sending your children to bed remember to use minimal light. This might mean using a flashlight for bedtime stories (which is more fun in my opinion anyway) or dimming the lights in the hallways or bathrooms. This study also shows that kids start secreting melatonin (remember, this is our sleep hormone) around 7:47pm. Since this is the natural "biological night" think about making your children’s bedtime routine start around then.
Scientists believe this dark environment or “cave environment” works best for falling asleep quickly. In addition, to keeping lights low and having dimmers, like we mentioned earlier, you can also buy black out curtains for bedrooms to make sure no outside light disrupts your little angel’s (or your own!) peaceful night of sleep. After all, they found that children exposed to light even after darkness showed 50% less melatonin levels than if they were kept in the dark prior to bed, and bright light alone suppressed melatonin by over 90%. This is partially because children's eyes are more sensitive to light due to their large pupils, which allows more light to hit the retina and signal their internal clock that its wake up time.
Now that you’ve learned all about sleepless nights, how to sleep and natural sleep aids, go make sure your child and yourself have great nights of sleep! But what will you try first? Moon milk? A better sleep position? Or the cave environment? Whatever you choose, sweet dreams from all of us at NoMo bands!