30 to 40% of children suffer from insomnia and lack the required 9-10 hours of night sleep. If your child is one of those suffering from sleepless nights, he or she may need extra help falling and maintaining sleep. While there are numerous over the counter medication to treat insomnia, many people prefer natural methods –
with no or little side effects. This article contains five natural secrets to fighting insomnia in children. However, before we get started with that, what causes this condition?
Types and causes of insomnia in children
Insomnia comes into two types: primary and secondary insomnia. It can be acute or chronic depending on how long it lasts. Various factors contribute to insomnia in children.
Causes of chronic insomnia
- Pain or discomfort
- Depression or anxiety
- Chronic stress
Causes of acute insomnia
- Change normal sleep schedule
- Medication e.g. used to treat asthma, colds, depression, high blood pressure and allergies.
- Factors such as noise, extreme temperatures, light
- Physical or emotional discomfort
Natural ways to fight insomnia in children:
Change in diet
Kate Tietje and Bob Zajac the authors of the book “Natural Remedies for Kids” points out that allergies caused by eating some foods contribute to insomnia. Some of such foods include peanuts, gluten, tree nuts, soy, and dairy. You should try eliminating or reducing these foods to test their effect, especially when they cause eczema, stomachaches, diarrhea, and chronic diaper rash. However, avoid changing formula-fed kids before consulting an expert.
Change in environment
Some kids are sensitive to their environment – that is, how their pajamas feel, temperature, noise, etc. If your child isn’t sleeping for any apparent reasons, try changing the environment. Make the room cooler or warmer, get or remove blankets (which we will discuss in more depth later in this article), change their PJs or get rid of noises if any.
A therapeutic massage is a wonderful natural sleeping aid. As in adults, massaging your kid’s feet, back, arms, hands, and legs help to relax the child’s body, mind, and soul. Studies show that children who receive 30-minute massage daily sleep longer and more soundly that those who do not receive a massage.
Improving sleeping habit
Establish a regular bedtime habit which includes a relaxing activity or routine, such as reading a story or soft music. This prepares the child for bedtime, and when repeated each day, it transforms into a habit. For more information on how to establish a sleeping habit for your newborn, click here.
Weighted blankets do provide not only warmth and comfort, but also a sense of security. Made from polly pellets found in beanie babies, these special blankets introduce enough pressure to trigger the brain to assume a sense of comfort, security and safety. These blankets create an environment that induces proper sleep.
There is no one-size- fits-all solution for insomnia for kids. However, you now have five natural methods to help your children get the required 9-10 hours of night sleep to grow up as a healthy and well-rested person.