Now that school is over your children may not be bound to the typical early morning routine surrounding a school schedule. Finding your summer routine and sticking with it can be hard at first, but it will help with focus, energy, behavior and even health. Without adequate sleep your family can experience significant disruptions.
In 2016, the AAP endorsed the American Academy of Sleep Medicine’s (AASM) recommendations about how much sleep children need at different ages for optimal health.
The recommendations are as follows:
- Infants from 4 to 12 months should get 12 to 16 hours of sleep (including naps)
- Children 1 to 2 years old should get 11 to 14 hours (including naps)
- Kids 3 to 5 should get 10 to 13 hours (including naps)
- Children 6 to 12 year olds should sleep 9 to 12 hours a night
- Teenagers should get from 8 to 10 hours of sleep a night
According to National Public Radio, new information has been discovered related to the lymphatic fluid around the brain that is called glymph. When adequate rest is achieved, the glymphatic fluid surrounding the brain is 10 times more effective. This can significantly impact the brain and the entire body. A study was done related to how sleep impacts the brain.
"Researchers showed for the first time that the space between brain cells may increase during sleep, allowing the brain to flush out toxins that build up during waking hours. These results suggest a new role for sleep in health and disease."
- National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), part of the NIH.
So here are the basics on how to get your children on a healthy sleep routine. It involves several things to do and a select few things to avoid.
Getting On a Good Bedtime Routine
Do at least two things every night before bed that creates a routine. Here is a list that you can choose from if you don't already have your summer bedtime routine established:
- Read a story or have your child read a book in bed.
- If your child is young enough it could be a warm bath. Essential oils like lavender oil can assist in making your child sleepy.
- 3 to 5 drops of essential oil to 1 tsp. of carrier oil. is the standard dilution recommendation.
- If you choose to give your infant lavender oil, 1 drop of lavender in 1 Tbs. of carrier oil or in a bath is acceptable. Lavender oil can also be placed on a pillow not near your baby's skin. Once your child is between one and five years of age the dosage can change to 2 drops of essential oil to 1 Tbs. oil. From 6 to 12 years of age 1 drop of essential oil to 2 tsp. of carrier oil can be used.
- Gentle massage with or without essential oil/carrier oil combination can also be part of the bedtime routine.
- A small cup of chamomile tea can be both calming and can help your child to get to sleep.
- If your child does not have lactose intolerance or casein allergies a glass of milk can also help your child become sleepy. Tryptophan, although found in very small amounts in milk, can induce drowsiness. Although it is debatable if there is enough tryptophan in a glass of milk to achieve this. The psychological aspect of a warm class of milk may lead to serotonin release in the brain that can lead to a restful state.
- Turn off any bright lights: melatonin release occurs in darkness. Having bright lights on can interfere with your body'a natural melatonin release.
- Turn off wifi router if it is close to your child's room. This only needs to happen if your child is not sleeping well after the other options have been attempted.
What to Avoid Before Bedtime
- Screen Time (television, computer, smart phone, tablet, etc.)
According to scientists at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute even two hours' exposure to a device with a backlit display causes melatonin suppression.
- Eat food with caffeine like chocolate or drink caffeinated beverages like hot cocoa.
- Argue (never go to bed angry)
Getting into an argument can elevate cortisol and other stress hormones making it hard to fall asleep.
Enjoy your summertime and sweet dreams!
Melatonin and The Sleep Cycle
If you need to get back onto a specific sleep cycle, melatonin may help. Research shows that melatonin is effective in resetting the body clock and helping those with delayed sleep phase syndrome. One important aspect is to ensure you use a supplement that has maximum effectiveness and from a trusted manufacturer. As we know, all supplements are not made the same and Purely Integrative selects supplements for maximum purity and great taste.
Our new Melatonin Gummies from Nordic Naturals passes that test. These tasty raspberry-flavored gummies promote healthy sleep patterns for a more restful, deep slumber throughout the night. It’s also flavored with xylitol which has been studied to show a decrease in cavities and nasal infection when taken orally.
For all other melatonin products from Purely Integrative, please follow this link. https://www.purelyintegrative.com/search?type=product&q=melatonin