As a single mom of four children myself I know how difficult it is to get any child to bed on time! It is even more difficult if a child has been diagnosed as Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder or more commonly referred to as ADD/ADHD. The Angel Lady, Doreen Virtue, calls this: Attention Dialed into a Higher Dimension.
My eldest son, since the day he arrived into this world has been a go-go-goer! The first year of his life, I tripled my own age! I was sleep deprived and literally exhausted, a walking zombie! He barely slept and the times he did sleep, he was very restless, constantly moving and frequently waking up. Routines and schedules did not work for him at that time. Taking one five minute nap during the day would give this child enough of an energy boost to keep him ticking until well past midnight and he would still be up by 6AM! He by passed crawling and was literally running at eight and half months! He was definitely my little energizer bunny! In this article I will share with you natural methods that I have learnt over the past 10 and half years to help him at least fall asleep.
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No one suggestion below will work for everyone, but continue trying new things until you find what does work for your situation. Do not give up! It eventually pays off in the long run for both of you! Unless of course you have more kids like I do. I’m so used to not sleeping now I wonder what it would feel like to actually have one whole undisturbed night of sleep to myself! At least I am only getting up for two out of four kids now, but as with all things, this too shall pass.
• Stick to a bedtime schedule for both going to bed and getting out of bed.
This should not be a fight. Your child should already be relaxed and ready for bed. On school days the routine for my son to awaken is 7:15AM.
On weekends, he still goes to bed at 9PM, but I allow him to wake up whenever “he” wants to get up.
• Get them to use the bathroom before going to bed. This should help them to not wake up during the night needing to use the toilet.
• A warm sea salt bath right before bed helps to relax the body and mind.
• A foot massage. This can be with a foot massage bath spa, an actual hand massage or both! If you are going to use oils, be sure to pick pure oils, not synthetic ones and that they are relaxing, calming oils! You do not want to use oil that is meant for stimulation. Find a good aromatherapist to help you as you need to use a carrier oil along with the essential oil for massage.
• A back massage. Again this can be done with oils or without remembering to use relaxing, calming oils over stimulating ones.
• An energy healing treatment releases tension and stress and can have a calming effect.
• Soft, non-vocal, slow instrumental music. This relaxes the body and mind whereas using vocals and fast tempo will increase the energy and keep the mind in thought.
• Nature Sounds: My son likes the sound of rain, dolphins, oceans and rivers. He didn’t care for the bird, cricket, frog sounds nor the thunder storms as this frightened him more than soothed him.
• Using the bedroom for sleep only. I created a play area in our house that equips the television, the kids’ games, PS2, music, their toys and books etc.
• Avoid daytime naps especially if you have a child that can take a five minute nap that revives them until late in the evening! By pass the nap and put them to bed earlier. My youngest children (4 and 2) get up at 6AM and go to bed by 6PM, no naps.
• Reading stories either to the child or letting them read themselves. Pick stories that are calming and non-violent.
• No television of a violent or stimulating nature before bed.
• No stimulating energetic games such as running, jumping, tickling, wrestling etc. Pick quiet activities such as drawing, reading or writing.
• The bedding style may make a difference. My son likes it semi-snug. If the bedding is too tight, he squirms around a lot until he is able to loosen it up some. You may have try tight, semi-snug or loose.
• Diet is very important and if you want your child to fall asleep easily and rest well stay away from sugar and products with artificial food colouring. That means pretty much all processed foods! It is time to go back to the basics and eat as natural and clean as possible. T