Have you ever wondered whilst lying in bed with your toddlers foot pressed between your shoulder blades or your six year olds fifth attempt to join you at your late night Netflix binge – “Why me? Why us? WHY now?” I often hear mothers and fathers of previously “good” sleepers lamenting over lost sleep and their child’s sudden inability (or refusal) to go to sleep or stay asleep on their own.
The reasons are varied and often a little more complicated depending on the child and what’s happening at school, home etc. but here are some reasons why previously good sleepers could possibly (suddenly) find it hard to wind down at night – and how you could help them in making the bedtime routine a little less bumpy for everyone involved.
- With the advent of television watching many children are stimulated right up until a few minutes before bedtime. Flickering lights and engaging storylines from their favourite program only serves to further stimulate neurons and electrical activity in the brain – which does anything buthelp wind them down for some quality shuteye. Switching the television off at least 30 – 40 minutes before bedtime would be best. This one habit change can often be a major factor in promoting healthy sleeping habits in our children.
- Another great reason for us to cut screen time for our kids is hormone secretion. Sitting in front of screens every night is affecting their hormones. The light impairs the secretion of a very important hormone – melatonin. And as we all well know melatonin is really important in promoting quality sleep. It would appear that our modern lives and our hours of watching tv before bedtime in order to “unwind” seems to have backfired. The light emitted from screens tricks our bodies into believing its still daytime leaving us with that all too familiar feeling of “being tired, but wired”. Further more, research indicates that it is best to unplug ALL electronic devices that emit light as it has been reported that light pollution (light of any kind – think bright clocks or night lights) also disrupts hormone regulation, which affects sleep, and immune system function.
- Thirdly it’s no surprise that watching TV makes us go to bed later. If your child needs between 8 and 10 hours to be able to function at their best and they are going to bed an hour later than they should every night – then their sleep debt is never being reduced. Choosing to read before bed is a far better way to promote a relaxing sleep environment and an earlier bedtime.
- Reconnect: for many children this is a wonderful time to reconnect and talk about their day. Sharing this down time along with a favourite book can be a great way to wind down and relax for some quality sleep.
- Keep things predictable. Make sure bedtime is around the same time every night. Start the routine of winding them down an hour earlier than their actual “lights out” time and keep noise, light and any other stimulation to a minimum.
- Try meditation. There are so many age appropriate meditation practices available for children. For many children, childhood is not necessarily a carefree time. Many children experience many fears: fear of the dark, fear of monsters, fear of abandonment, fear of the future, fear of not being good enough, etc. Meditation teaches children how to stay in the moment – by training them to focus on one thought, sound, or breath at a time. Meditation can carry children away from whatever makes them afraid to a place where they have power and control over their lives.
- Choose kinesiology. Kinesiology is an individual-based modality with each client receiving a tailored treatment to suit their specific needs. Kinesiologists draw upon hundreds of different techniques – all dictated by what the body needs at any given time. Using a bio-feedback system from the clients body the kinesiologist can determine exactly what the body requires to regain equilibrium and bring about homeostasis. Within this context of sleep, the kinesiologist ‘asks’ the body where the imbalances are and can then determine which technique/s will bring the body back into balance.
Methods of Kinesiology Balancing include:
- Tracing and massaging of meridians
- Gentle holding, rubbing or tapping of acupressure points.
- Comfortable rubbing of Neurolymphatic points
- Light holding of Neurovascular points
- Application or ingestion of Flower Essences and/or other vibrational remedies
- Nutritional Support and suggestions for the use of tested whole foods to support the body
- Emotional diffusion methods
Most clients feel they have a significant shift within 3 – 4 kinesiology sessions. It is also a good idea to take into consideration: willingness (as the adult) to make the changes necessary to significantly shift the issue and more often than not, the consideration of external factors, such as the living environment – affecting the outcome.
Kim is a qualified kinesiologist & EFT practitioner who loves working with people of all ages who want to bring about effective and lasting change. Finding practical ways to make your life better ~ on a daily basis. Contact Northern Beaches Integrative Practitioners on 02 8406 0679 or book on line at www.nbip.com.au