From the time my oldest child was born in 1997, the pursuit of a good night’s sleep has been a constant in our home. My son has never slept well (and still doesn’t) and I have looked into several natural sleep aids to help him enter into Dreamland. While there are many options available for the parent in need of natural aids for sleep, here are a few that I have tried and had success with.
Natural Sleep Aids for Kids: Melatonin
Melatonin is a natural hormone that can help induce sleep. It can be bought over the counter at pharmacies, grocery stores and health food stores. It is normally found in the vitamin section. My son’s neurologist prescribed melatonin for help with his sleep problems and it does help to some degree. If you are considering using melatonin, be sure to check with your child’s physician or a nutritionist for correct dosage.
Natural Sleep Aids for Kids: Chamomile
Chamomile teas are made from the flowers of chamomile. As a sleep aid, chamomile works more to relax the body in preparation for sleep, instead of making a person drowsy. When mixed with honey, chamomile tea is tasty and relaxing.
Natural Sleep Aids for Kids: Lavender
The scent of lavender has a relaxing effect. An effective method to help children relax and sleep naturally with lavender is to use lavender-scented bath soap before bedtime or lavender-scented sachets.
Sachets can be made with dried lavender flowers or stems. Simply sew up a small pocket or pillowcase, put the lavender inside then sew up the end. A quicker method would be to put some dried lavender into an old sock, then knot it. Put the sachets underneath pillows and on top of bedding so the scent will linger. To know more about the natural sleep aids, read here: globenewswire.com/news-release/2021/01/25/2163146/0/en/dodow-reviews-sleep-device-that-works-product-review-by-mike-vaughn.html.
I have sprayed my children’s bedding with lavender scent to help promote sleep. Lavender-scented sprays are available at most discount stores such as Wal-Mart or Target, and at health food stores. In addition, dried lavender can be bought from local farmers, farmer’s markets, health food stores, or grown on your own.
Natural Sleep Aids for Kids: Routines
The routines kids get into can either promote or prohibit a good night’s sleep. Playing video games, rowdy games, or watching television just before bedtime can make it difficult for a child to settle down to sleep.
Getting into a routine of winding down for bedtime is essential for promoting sleep. A good way to do this is to have a cut-off time: A time during the evening when the games, TV and rowdy play stops. This should then transition into a quiet time – reading books, working puzzles, and the like to help the body and the mind slow down and relax.
If the child needs a night light, it should become part of the bedtime routine to turn on the night light just before crawling into bed (make sure the night light isn’t so bright that it inhibits natural sleep).
Natural Sleep Aids for Kids: Diet
Cut out sugary snacks and caffeine within two to four hours before bedtime to promote natural sleep in kids. A light snack of whole grain crackers (whole grain contains magnesium, which also promotes sleep) just before bed can help keep a tummy from grumbling and driving off sleep. In my home, I employ a combination of these natural sleep aids to help my family get a good night’s rest.