Insomnia is a normal occurrence in children. It is caused by not falling asleep soon enough or often waking up too early. There are many natural insomnia cures parents and caregivers should try before taking a child to a doctor. Sometimes, a change in routine can help solve the problem effectively. Why do some children have insomnia?
Children suffer from stress at school, peer pressure, and in everyday family life. This can lead to anxiety, depression, and cause lack of sleep. Spend time talking with your child, and let them know that they can talk to you about anything. This is important for parents and caregivers to do. Children often drink or eat food and beverages with too much sugar. Cutting down on these items can be an insomnia cure.
Environmental factors like too much noise, too hot or cold temperatures can make it hard for children to sleep. Establishing a routine and providing proper food and snacks often goes a long way to natural cures for insomnia. Reducing electronics in the bedroom like cell phones, computers, and TV is another good way to establish a peaceful environment for sleep.
Natural Cures for Insomnia
Maintaining a comfortable environment in the bedroom can help cure insomnia. This means keeping temperatures relatively stable not too hot or cold. Be sure that you have blinds or shades to keep the lights out. Don’t let children read, watch TV, or play on computers in the bedroom. Try to have another room for these activities. Try to keep the bedroom calm and peaceful.
Teach children how to relax before bedtime. This can mean a relaxing bath or shower or even deep breathing. Try to do relaxing exercises like reading or listening to calming music. Don’t exercise before bedtime; do this earlier in the day. Remove clocks from the bedroom or turn them away from the bed. Looking at a clock can be distracting and not very relaxing. The cure for insomnia is often a simple change in routine.
Simple Routine Changes
Set a regular time for bed that is early enough so the child gets enough sleep. This means a regular time every night. Don’t change the time, but try to be consistent. If your child has a problem with falling asleep, let him get up for 1/2 hour and try a relaxing exercise. It might be reading, listening to music or using the computer. Do this a few nights in a row to see if it helps with the problem.
Kids should wear comfortable pajamas to bed that breathes. They should not be too hot or flimsy where they are too cold. Bedding should be comfortable and warm. Invest in a good mattress and pillows for the children to sleep on. Pillows should support the neck and head comfortably while you sleep. Linens and blankets should breathe. Good quality sheets and blankets make a pleasant sleep environment.
When children do not sleep don’t let them nap during the day. This often makes it harder for them to sleep at night. It is better for them to go through their normal routine and then go to bed at the regular time every evening.
Avoid blue lights in the bedroom three hours before sleep. It has the ability to suppress chemicals that promote sleep. Keep air moving in the bedroom by opening up a window or using a fan during the day or before bedtime. This often helps keep the air smelling fresh.
Keep children’s feet warm; they should wear socks on their feet in winter. Cold feet make it hard to get to sleep at night. Curb fluid intake before bedtime a few hours so that the children do not keep getting up because they have to go to the bathroom. Have a night light for the child so that they can feel safe.
Healthy Foods That Help Cure Insomnia
Foods are all part of natural cures for insomnia. Try to include food in the diet that are good for sleep. Don’t eat a heavy meal four hours before bedtime keep it light and nutritious.
Snacks with a combination of protein and carbs are best before bedtime. Try cheese and crackers or a banana mixed with peanut butter. Try something as simple as a warm glass of milk or cocoa with milk before bedtime. This helps the body relax and may help your child sleep better. In times of stress like holidays and during school exams this can be a big help. Magnesium helps the body with sleep. A diet that provides green leafy vegetable in the diet, wheat germ, and almonds can help children get a good night’s sleep.
Bananas are full of potassium and magnesium. This means they produce a hormone in the brain that relaxes the body. It takes about an hour to work so serve the snacks an hour before bedtime to promote sleep. Protein is another good snack at night for children to eat before bed. Try a slice of lean meat or cheese, hard boiled eggs, or even cottage cheese. This prevents stomach problems which often can contribute to insomnia at night.
Cherries have melatonin which promotes sleep. A handful of fresh or dried cherries before bed can help your child with sleep. Green tea has theanine a substance that promotes sleepiness. Make sure that your child drinks decaf if you do decide to try green tea. One bowl of oatmeal provides all the nutrients that you need to promote sleep. Don’t use sugar this could make the remedy less effective. Having a bowl of jasmine rice four hours before you go to bed helps children fall asleep. It boosts chemical in the brain like serotonin.
Lean turkey has the right chemicals to help adults and children fall asleep. It has the same effect even after Thanksgiving meals. Sweet potato is another great food to induce sleep with carbs and potassium that relaxes the muscles in the body.
Sometimes sleep problems are caused by lack of iron eating lean red meats might helps your child. It is better to eat this for lunch than dinner due to the fact protein can counteract serotonin which produces sleep in the body. Moreover, a salad with lettuce for dinner has a substance called lactucarium. This substance has properties that are like taking a sedative. It affects the human brain like opium. A salad night with plenty of lettuce might help your child sleep well every night.
A spoonful of honey at night raises the insulin level in the body allowing a chemical called tryptophan to enter the brain easily. This chemical calms a person down and helps them relax which induces sleep.
When natural cures do not work consider behavioral therapies like cognitive behavioral therapy. It is used for sleep disorders and attempts to change the pattern of sleep. Working with a therapist they may suggest a sleep diary to get an idea of the pattern of the problem the child faces.
Often parents will have to record how many times the child wakes up and when. Often a record of day time activities are taken down to see if any of the activities might contribute to the child insomnia. Sleeping tablets are often used as a short term solution, but they are not recommended for long term problems with curing insomnia.
CBT therapy can often be one to one counseling with a therapist. It can even be a group of children with similar sleep problems. This is another way to cure chronic insomnia. Sleep restriction therapy limits the amount of time someone sleeps. It creates a form of sleep deprivation. Sleep time is increased as the child’s sleeping improves.
Relaxation therapy using deep breathing, meditation, or yoga can improve a child’s sleep pattern. Indulging in quiet activities like reading, a warm shower or bath, or even listening to music might do the trick for a child.
Try some of these natural insomnia cures on your child. In case of chronic insomnia, seek professional help at your local hospital’s sleep clinic or ask your doctor about treatments.