Thousands of people including young children have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep and getting enough sleep. I would like to give you some alternatives to finding better sleep that can help improve the quality of your life by being well rested so you can function optimally during the day.
Sight: Light affects our ability to fall asleep. Darkness triggers our production of melatonin which is a hormone necessary for sleep. Most of our natural lighting in the house is blue light which will turn off our melatonin. The sun is also a natural form of blue light. At night during sleep using a light that filters out blue light is important if you have a night light. A red light bulb will work or you can buy a special light that filter the blue light out. This is very important for babies as they do not produce melatonin till around 3 to 4 months of age. This is also important for adults that use computers or cell phones close to bedtime as it can affect the time it takes them to fall asleep. There is a great app called f.lux that filters out your blue light on your computer and phone. Go to https://justgetflux.com/ for more information.
Sound: Ever wonder why so many experts recommend white noise machines for babies. It works! It also works just as well for adults. White noise or the sound of the ocean slows brain activity down and helps you and your baby fall asleep. Another alternative for better sleep is an app called relax melodies which has various sounds and beats that aid sleep. Go to http://www.ipnossoft.com/app/relax-melodies/ to check it out.
Touch: Your bedding is also important. For babies I recommend a good organic mattress free of any chemicals. Also use soft comfortable sheets that feels good on their skin. No blankets or toys inside the crib but a small, soft breathable lovey they can hold or cuddle will help them fall asleep. For adults it is important to have a good mattress and to change out your pillow every 12 months. A new pillow is important as an old pillow will break down and lose some of its structure which can affect your head and neck alignment. If you get muscle strain in your head and neck it sends a signal to your brain and prevents you from entering the deep stages of sleep.
Taste and Smell: These senses can affect our emotions and our ability to relax. Even young children need to wind down before bed to help them sleep and there are some alternatives to better sleep that involve taste and smell. These are essential oils and are safe for both children and adults. Wikipedia defines it as “An essential oil is a concentrated hydrophobic liquid containing volatile aroma compounds from plants”. Putting some essential oil in a diffuser at night or rubbing it on your wrists or soles of your feet can help a person to relax and fall asleep. Lavender is a popular oil that works well at night and so is Roman Chamomile. Therapeutic grade is important for good results and all oils are diluted with a carrier oil such as coconut oil or put in a diffuser with water. These are all natural and safe but still needs to be used properly when using on babies and children as they are more sensitive to their potency and require proper dilution. To find out more about essential oils visit http://www.takingcharge.csh.umn.edu/explore-healing-practices/aromatherapy/how-do-i-choose-and-use-essential-oils or another good source for newborns and babies using essential oils is http://healinginourhomes.com/essential-oils-for-newborns-and-babies/ . For a good quality, therapeutic brand I like http://doterra.com/US/en/what-is-an-essential-oil . There are many doulas, midwives, chiropractors, naturopathic doctors and even some MD’s that practice and use essential oils if you just ask.