We have a night time sleep rhythm that we follow and for the most part works really well. On days when it’s that little bit more difficult for my children to get settled at night for whatever reason, I may try some other methods to create peace and calm. Some of these methods work well If we are away from home too.
- Aroma Diffuser. We have had our diffuser for a while now but do not use it everyday. You can purchase these relatively inexpensively (Ebay). Our diffuser is a Alcyon Sol brand, a more expensive one, made mostly from glass (lid) and bamboo (base) with a small amount of plastic inside. I received a voucher for a shop that sold these so only had to pay a small amount for it in the end. This one has a 120ml capacity and can last for 8 hours. There are a few reasons why I decided to purchase an essential oil diffuser for our home; relaxation and sleep, can boost mood (use in the morning before School and work), can help during times of illness or allergy to breathe easier. I have a couple of essential oil blends (Mt.retour ‘Relaxing’ blend and Lively Living ‘Breathe’ which are both Certified Organic). I also have some individual Essential Oils.
As you can see in the above pictures this diffuser has an LED light so you have the choice to turn the light off, choose one colour light or allow the colours to keep changing (rainbow colours). I turn the light off if we use this in my children’s room preferring to have the light from the Himalayan salt lamp. Two things to note, there are no plugs/power points next to where my children sleep (beside the bed) and before I go to bed at night I remove the plugs from the Powerpoint. I am always a bit nervous about plugs in children’s bedrooms especially next to their bed heads, so we use these for a period of time at night but nothing is plugged in all night. Luckily we get enough moon light in the room if the blinds are open a bit. An alternative to a Diffuser in the bedroom/house is an essential oil room spray which you can DIY or if you are in Australia Biome have these Banksia Scent Pods so nothing needs to be plugged in. 2. Himalayan Salt Lamp. We use ours every night as a lovely moody night-light. Our one has a dimmer switch that I can adjust the brightness. I wont go into the possible health benefits (you can do a Google search if you like), but we love ours. I have mentioned before that in my daughter’s Montessori classroom they use a salt lamp in the ‘Peace Corner/Space’ to aide relaxation and the children love it.3. Massage. Massage can work wonders. I give my children a gentle massage if they are struggling to fall asleep. I have friends who used massage when their child was weaning off a dummy (pacifier). Keep in mind though to ALWAYS ask for permission and ALWAYS explain what you are doing. We also, always keep clothes on for a massage as well and don’t use any oils at this stage. I am not a massage expert. I have studied massage (Swedish and Remedial) but I don’t think you have to have a massage certificate to use massage at home. Just be gentle. It is much easier having a 3 year old and 5 year old as they can guide me as to what they like and don’t like. My youngest for example likes arms, legs and his back massaged whereas my daughter prefers face, arms, hands and legs. I have however used massage since my children were babies.
4. Music. Music can be so calming. I have used simple classical music or soothing Lullabies. Instead or using a CD, radio or downloaded music, you can always sing. I do this often.
Other Options;5. Guided meditation. 6. Guided Yoga. We don’t do yoga at night very often but sometimes it’s a great way to get out that last bit of energy and to wind down before bed.
7. Reading books or story telling. Books or story telling is always part of our night-time rhythm. Audio books is another option. We sometimes use Story Box Library.
The other things I always looks at is light and temperature and noise in my children’s bedrooms. Sometimes any of these are the reasons why sleep can be more difficult. I look to see if there is either too much light or not enough light (my son likes a night-light). I look to see what the temperature is like in their room; is it too hot or too cold? I also listen to see if it is too noisy; our neighbours dogs can bark for hours each night. The sound of a dog barking at night frightens my youngest. So sometimes in this case, my children would prefer to fall asleep in my room as the noise is more muffled otherwise playing music drowns out the noise.
Any other ideas or suggestions? Feel free to share.