Too energized to snooze: Resist stimulating activities before bedtime like TV watching or tickling, and substituting them with calming massages, bedtime stories or lullabies to help calm your child enough to drift off.
Sensitive to surroundings: Silent environments at night may make your child focus on small distractions, like the phone ringing, a clothing label rubbing against their skin, or even food digesting in their bodies. If it is silence or specific noises that bother your child, consider a white noise CD that can create a calming background distraction while blocking out household commotion. Also check their neck and ears for overheating if they wake in the night, and undress accordingly.
Light Deprivation: If a child doesn’t see enough light during the day, the schedule of their melatonin production may be thrown off. Providing bright light in the morning and throughout the day suppresses melatonin production until nighttime. Go for a walk outside or turn on a few lamps in the morning; but dim lights a few hours before bedtime. This will help your child associate darkness with sleep.
Late Night Snacking: Feeding a child right before bedtime can produce an association between sleeping and eating. This can become an inconvenience when a child wakes up in the night and needs to feed before they can drift off again. Moving a child’s feeding time to a few hours earlier in the night, and feeding in a different room than the nursery, can help prevent this association.
For more information on Dr, Caralei Peters, ND and Dr. Laura Grant, ND please visit www.naturopathicperspectives.ca and www.arborvitae.ca