Nutritional Supplements

Getting enough sleep is vital for the development of children. Sleep is important for the body and the mind to rest and recuperate. The sleep times required for children are:

• Babies under 1: 14 to 18 hours throughout the day and night
• Toddlers: 12 to 14 hours per 24-hour period
• Primary school: 10 to 12 hours per day
• High school: 8-10 hours per day

Some parents use nutritional supplements such as melatonin as sleep support for their children but this should be a large resort. It is, however, safer than pharmaceuticals. A melatonin supplement is more suited for children autism who may have an accompanying sleep disorders, but for other children we should consider better natural cure and remedies.

Ayurveda

Ayurveda, the sister science of yoga offers some useful tips for achieving a good night’s sleep such as:

• Avoiding caffeine drinks and sugar after 3.00pm onwards
• Drinking a cup of warm milk at bedtime with a few nuts to help grounding
• Massage the feet – use traditional oils such as warm sesame oil which is grounding
• Avoidance of TV /computer devices/ video devices at least for 1 hour before bedtime
• Try and keep the sleep environment as dark as possible
• Try relaxing yoga breathing exercises
• Consider doing some form of meditation/ prayer to wind down in the evening

Other Alternative Medicine advice

Other advice outside of sleep hygiene that is advocated by practitioners of complementary medicine include:
• Use organic cotton sleepwear instead of synthetic fabrics which may be irritating
• Massage magnesium oil in the navel at bedtime
• Give the child a warm bath prior to bedtime
• Increase foods high in magnesium
• Make sure that the bedroom is an attractive place to sleep and is at a comfortable temperature

Homeopathy the safe answer to insomnia

Many parents use homoeopathic remedies as natural cures / remedies for children with insomnia.The remedies will vary depending on the different symptoms that the individual child presents such as:

• Lying awake with restlessness, tossing and turning
• Falling asleep before normal bedtime and then waking at 3– 4 am
• Waking with every sound
• Sleeplessness from itching on head, face, neck, and shoulders
• Sleeplessness from a recent disappointment
• Restless sleeplessness from excessive work
• Restless sleep and anxious dreams with frequent waking

Your homoeopath will prescribe a range of remedies depending on the root cause. Common homoeopathic remedies includeNux vomica, Opium, Coffeacruda, Ambragrisea, Hyoscyamus niger, Sulphur, Belladonna, Chamomilla, Arsenic album, Argenticumnitricum. There are also commercial preparations that use a combination of the aforementioned homoeopathic ingredients. These are affordable and are a good first line of natural remedies for children with sleep problems