I am not very comfortable talking about sleep. For those of you who don’t have children, you may be surprised to hear that sleep can be a fueled topic. Sleep is not a contentious topic for me, but I’m not really in the mood for it to be for another party.
My true feelings, do whatever works for you, and your family… seriously, I don’t care. You may co-sleep; sleep in a guest bed in the child’s room; bathe them or not; have a routine or not; light candles; sing songs; whatever. I truly I am not bothered or concerned about how others get their children to bed. Yet, I have seen many friends fight viciously over differing opinions, and it makes me weary to share my routine, even though it would only be posted to help those who see value in it, not to persuade anyone to follow it.
I guess the above doesn’t matter anyway because the inquiry I just received is from a single mother who prefers not to follow a routine, but needs more sleep. She wrote in to ask for any tips that I may have, keeping in mind she does not wish to follow a routine. Let me preface what I am about to say: I do follow a routine, both my children have slept 12 to 13 hours uninterrupted since 8 to 12 weeks old. How do I know my tips help? Because I suffer from insomnia and for the last four years have helped countless women in their search for a remedy. Some of my dearest friends call these suggestions the AHP Sleep Lifesaver Routine.
These are suggestions that HELP, not the solution to “everything” sleep.
There are many essential oils that aid in sleep. But the oil studied most to my knowledge is lavender. I don’t love the smell of lavender—one of my top ten worst smells—but it works. Studies show that not only does lavender aid in falling asleep, but the quality of sleep is improved. Dab a bit of lavender oil on your child’s sheets or pillow. Yes, you can use a diffuser, but I have found dabbing works best and is easiest.
You don’t have to have a routine to signal to your child that it is time to go to bed. Whatever time, or situation you may be in, you can consistently follow a few steps to signal to your baby that he or she needs to wind down. If children are prepared and in the state of mind to sleep, then they are more likely to go to bed without fuss.
I am a fan of baths, and they don’t have to be somber baths either. My girls take baths together every night. I dim the lights and let them play, but tell them they need to wind down and keep low voices. They know that once they take a bath it’s time for pajamas (nursing for my baby) then bed. It is an excepted fact for them, I don’t think they have ever even thought, What if we didn’t go to sleep after our bath?
“A key factor in regulating sleep and your biological clocks is exposure to light or to darkness so falling asleep with lights on may not be the best thing for a good night’s sleep,” National Sleep Foundation.
An hour before my children’s bedtime, I like to keep the lights dim in my house. In their rooms electrical tape covers all indicator lights. Indicator lights may appear harmless to sleep, but in the dark of night a few little indicator lights can brighten up the whole room.
If you are pregnant and have issues with sleep try these tips as well, and read my article Unisom may make your pregnancy a little easier.
I do most things naturally, is you are the same in this way check out my articles in the MAKE section, in HOMEMADE BEAUTY. Also under THINGS WE LOVE, I have a whole category on APPLE CIDER VINEGAR!
National Sleep Foundation
“Lights Out for a Good Night’s Sleep.” Sleeping with a TV & Lights On. National Sleep Foundation, n.d. Web. 20 Jan. 2016. <https://sleepfoundation.org/sleep-news/lights-out-good-nights-sleep>.
“Too Much Light at Night May Cause Depression.” Sleepfoundation.org. National Sleep Foundation, n.d. Web. 20 Jan. 2016. <https://sleepfoundation.org/sleep-news/too-much-light-night-may-cause-depression>.
The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine
George T. Lewith, Anthony Dean Godfrey, and Philip Prescott. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. August 2005, 11(4): 631-637. doi:10.1089/acm.2005.11.631.
US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health
Cho, Mi-Yeon, Eun Sil Min, Myung-Haeng Hur, and Myeong Soo Lee. “Effects of Aromatherapy on the Anxiety, Vital Signs, and Sleep Quality of Percutaneous Coronary Intervention Patients in Intensive Care Units.” Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine : ECAM. Hindawi Publishing Corporation, n.d. Web. 20 Jan. 2016. <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3588400/>.
I am not the authority on any topic asked in this forum. For questions that may have medical implications, please consult your doctor or midwife. The purpose of this section of the site is to provide support, help, or a sounding board for individuals. Whether a person is going through struggles, would like to know they’re not alone, or find out which bottle worked best for my children, I will do my best to answer. There are going to be many ways to reply to all questions posted. I am merely providing my perspective. This forum is not meant for debate.