Sometimes our sleeping habits happen within us. Some kids like to arise with the sun while others just want to dance in the moonlight. So how do you help your child who just can’t sleep at night and then is sleepy at school? Here are some tips to help your little night owl get the Zzzz he or she needs. One helpful tool can be melatonin supplements. Pediatricians advise to only use this supplement short-term. Use this as a re-setter to help a child get back on a sleep schedule after a stressful time, new school, family vacation etc.
Daily Parent’s Dear Addie Section had these other tips to offer
- Move the bedtime up by about 30 minutes so that the wind-down period starts earlier
- No sugar or caffeine within six hours of bedtime
- No screen-time (TV, electronics, etc.) for an hour before bedtime
- No sports/active play for an hour before bedtime
Change Bedtime- Creating an earlier bedtime by about thirty minutes can help a child relax their mind earlier so they will be more ready for bed when the clock hits the special hour. Also creating a quiet routine might be helpful. For example reading a fun book after homework is complete.
No Sugar or Caffeine- Within 6 hours of bedtime close the doors on candy or caffeine. These are stimulants and can cause minds to race. These treats or drinks full of sugar can sometimes turn a calm child into a hyper night owl that refuses to go to bed.
Create Quiet Time An hour before bedtime turn off all devices and spend an hour as a family. Read a book, listen to music, have a healthy bedtime snack etc. For bedtime snack ideas read our previous articles 5 Bedtime Snacks or 6 More Bedtime Snacks.
Create Relaxing Activities-To help night owls feel sleepy when the stars are shining. Avoid active play or sports an hour before bedtime. Switch with relaxing activities like talking about the day, coloring or reading together.
If these night owl tips do not help and your child is still restless it might be time to visit with his or her pediatrician.
Many children and adults have trouble getting to sleep at night. This might be caused by bad “sleep hygiene” this term is defined as things that can help facilitate good, continuous and adequate sleep.
Creating good sleep hygiene can be quite simple by following these tips.
Create a Quiet Room – Remove items that can disrupt sleep. For example electronics, TV, or even noisy pets. Also have light blocking curtains to block out the glow from street lamps if you live in a city. Having a white noise machine can also be helpful to block out the neighborhood sounds that might be distracting.
Establish Gadget Free Time – The National Sleep Foundation recommends at least 30 minutes of “gadget free transition time” before bedtime. It is important to “power down” to get higher sleep quality. As said in some of our earlier articles the blue light emitted from devices can decrease the production of the important sleep hormone melatonin. Having low melatonin makes it harder for a person to drift off to sleep. Mobile phones and tablets used in bed can wreck sleep hygiene.
Power Down Physically and Mentally- Do not exercise mentally or physically too close to bedtime. If you want to exercise in the evening make sure to do so at least an hour before bedtime which can help you produce endorphins which might help you decrease stress. Though the boost in endorphins can also make it hard to sleep. So do not run on the treadmill when you should be relaxing and preparing for bed. Also do not work your mind too hard before bed. Make sure to schedule answering emails and other work tasks at least thirty minutes before it is time to “hit the hay”. Working to close to bedtime can make your mind race when it should be calming down.
Create a Comfy Environment- Many would not think the bedroom decor would have much effect on the quality of sleep. However how a room is set up can change how a person sleeps. Having clean sheets, and blankets that are not too hot or too cold can make a difference. Also like stated previously in this article white noise machines and dark curtains can be beneficial additions to your bedroom. Also make sure pillows give your neck the support it needs. Oh and odor might also disrupt sleep so check for dirty laundry or trash that needs to be taken out, which just might solve the kid waking up in the middle of the night issue. If you have kids have them help you make their bedroom a sleep sanctuary. Keep toys organized, have them pick out blankets and curtains, etc.
Creating good sleep hygiene can make a difference on the quality of sleep you receive. If you change your habits and still suffer from insomnia speak with your doctor. If he or she suggest melatonin supplements to help look up World Wide Labs for an all natural option.
Previously we posted about 5 snacks and 5 beverages to help you fall asleep. To read those articles click
Bedtime Snacks Part 1 or Bedtime Beverages
This article is about 6 more bedtime snacks that can make falling asleep easier. These following foods have several different natural chemicals that can help your fall asleep.
Bedtime Snacks and Their Benefits
Lettuce- Having a light salad before bed can benefit you. Lettuce contains lactucarium which has similar affects as opium which both have sedative properties.
Pretzels- This salty little snack can give you a short spike of blood sugar and then slowly decrease which can help you fall asleep. Normally you want to keep a steady blood sugar though a small spike before bedtime helps tryptophan enter the brain to cause sleep.
Crackers with seeds- These crunchy squares provides protein and healthy fats which help provide a good nights sleep.
Jasmine Rice- This soft white rice is better at helping you fall asleep than other rice according to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The high glycemic level of this beautiful grain helps bring on sleep faster.
Dairy Products- Many have heard the mommy advice that warm milk can help a child sleep. There is truth to this, though any dairy product can help. Calcium helps the mind use tryptophan to activate melatonin which is a strong sleep hormone. Calcium also aids and regulates muscle movements. Relaxed muscles can create a better night. If you are lactose intolerant you can try the products with the added enzyme to digest lactose. These lactose free products may help you get the bedtime benefits of calcium.
Bowl of Cereal- Having a small bowl of your favorite (non-sugary) cereal provides a good source of calcium and carbohydrates. These nutrients can aid you in getting the sleep you need.
Try these tasty bedtime snacks and see if you drift off to dreamland faster. If you do try one of these snacks and it helps you, please share your experience in the comments.
Photos Source- Found on Google
There have been many studies on how to get a better nights sleep. We know that being too full or too hungry can disrupt the night. The brain uses many hormones and chemicals to induce sleep. These mainly include melatonin and tryptophan. These following snack ideas from Daily Medical and Readers Digest can help these chemicals activate and help your mind drift off to dreamland.
Snacks and Their Bedtime Benefits
Bananas – This underestimated yellow fruit is full of potassium, tryptophan, and magnesium. These three elements together work as muscle relaxers which can help the body be ready for sleep.
Fish- You can be humming ,”Just keep sleeping, just keep sleeping…” into your pillow if you eat tuna, halibut or salmon. These fish are packed with vitamin B6. Your body needs this vitamin to be able to produce melatonin and seratonin which are important chemicals for the brain.
Pistachios- This fun to open nut is also a great source of B6. Which like with the fish this vitamin helps create melatonin in the brain which helps the body fall asleep.
Walnuts – This powerful little nut has tryptophan (an amino acid that enhances sleep by helping produce the hormone melatonin which signals sleep). University of Texas researchers even found that walnuts contain their own supply of melatonin.
Almonds- These smooth nuts provide magnesium, which is a mineral that can provide a higher sleep quality. Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine published a study that discovered that low magnesium levels can disrupt sleep.
Give these bedtime snacks a try and see if you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. Share your results in the comments. Remember if you have severe insomnia to consult your doctor.
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