“The hardest people to convince they are at retirement age are children at bedtime “
Various factors may cause a child’s sleeplessness, so before reaching for conventional drugs and sleep medications, parents may want to first consider changing a child’s bedtime routine. For example, try turning off the television and computer a couple of hours before bedtime to avoid overstimulation. It also helps to keep the child’s bedroom as calm and stress-free as possible; aromatherapy-scented pillows, soaps and lotions that work best include lavender, sage and chamomile
Homeopathic remedies are another option; practitioners advise that such
gentler medications are usually well tolerated by children. Choices include Kali
phosphoricum for overstimulation, Magnesium phosphoricum to calm a child and
to relieve colic, and Passiflora incarnata for a child who is too tired to go to sleep.
Another natural sleep aid is drinking an herbal tea made from chamomile, passion
flower and valerian an hour before bedtime. Before implementing any herbal remedy
for a good night’s sleep, parents should consult a certified herbalist to ensure
they are administering it correctly for the child’s age and weight.
Soothing Bedtime drinks
Caffeine is best avoided from mid-afternoon onwards, but in general, hot drinks have a calming effect at bedtime, especially in cold weather. If you wake frequently in the night, a flask filled with a hot, caffeine-free drink such as herbal tea, chicory "coffee" or plain hot water, can provide an instant soother. It also means that you don’t need to get up out of bed, making it easier to return to sleep.
If your wakefulness is due to hot sultry weather, iced chamomile or lemon balm tea will cool you down and provide instant relief. If you often suffer from restless waking in the middle of the night, herbal remedies – taken either as a tea or tablet form, may help to quest your nerves and settle an overactive system.
Brandied Lemon Drink:
* (makes 2)
* 2/3 cup lemon juice
* 2 tablespoons Honey
* 2 tablespoons brandy
* 1 cup boiling water
* 1 cinnamon stick
* Combine all ingredients, if required later on, reheat without boiling.
* (makes 6)
* 6 cups Apple Cider
* 2 tablespoons Sugar
* 4 Cinnamon sticks (optional garnish)
* 10 cloves
* In saucepan bring all ingredients to boil, stirring occasionally to dissolve sugar.
Reduce heat to low and barely simmer for 30 minutes.
Strain to remove spices. Serve warm in mugs with cinnamon stick to stir with if desired.
Orange and Apricot Drink:
* (makes 2)
* 2 cups fresh orange juice
* 2 tablespoons apricot Jam
* 2 tablespoons Grand Marnier
* 1 teaspoon nutmeg
* Combine orange juice, apricot jam and nutmeg, heat until mixture begins to boil.
Remove from heat; add Grand Marnier. Strain liquids and serve.
Milk contains substances that help restore feelings of calmness. When drunk at bedtime it can enhance restful sleep. The additions of honey and nutmeg give a soothing and tasty twist.
The first food that we consume as babies, milk has a soothing effect on the nervous system.
It contains peptides that help to relieve stress and anxiety, and reduce nervous tension that can lead to insomnia.
Many people find milk helpful in cases of indigestion – another common cause of wakefulness – particularly if it is sipped warm.
When drunk with honey and a sprinkling of nutmeg, a mug of warm milk makes a perfect bedtime nightcap.
If you suffer from an allergy or sensitivity to dairy products, you can substitute goat, soya, rice or oat milk for cow’s milk.
This recipe makes one serving, but you can easily multiply the ingredients for two or more people.
250ml / 8fl oz 1 cup of whole or semi-skim (low fat) milk
10ml / 2 teaspoons clear Honey
* Heat milk gently in a sauce pan, to just below the boiling point.
* Do not boil or scald the milk.
* Remove from the heat and whisk (beat) until frothy.
* Stir in the Honey
* then pour into a large mug and
* grate a light dusting of nutmeg over the milk.
Caution: use nutmeg sparingly. Although in small quantities its active ingredient, myristicin, enhances sleep and pleasant dream, in large doses (2-3 teaspoons) it is highly toxic and can cause hallucinations, nausea and vomiting.