BurlingtonVT Moms Blog is partnering with Phoenix Physical Therapy to bring you our latest series titled “50 Shades of Sleep”, about…you guessed it….sleep. Like an elusive treasure, we find ourselves obsessing about sleep not only for ourselves but for our children as well. Although we may not consciously recognize it we are constantly making decisions surrounding the subject of sleep. Is it OK to co-sleep? Can babies really be trained to sleep? What are night terrors? When do you move your child from your bed to the bassinet or to his own crib or into his own bed? Does the thought of SIDS scare everyone? Is it normal for kids to wet the bed and up to what age? And does it all change when they get older? Our goal through this series is to invite you into an open conversation about all things sleep, and to acknowledge that no matter your struggles or choices, you are never alone.
Hidden Barriers to a Good Night’s Sleep
There is no doubt about it; a good night’s sleep can make everything feel different. Sleep deprivation on the other hand, for either you or your child, can lead to poor mood, weight imbalances, suppressed immune system, poor ability to concentrate and general feeling of low vitality.
Many people are aware of the common reasons their child may not be sleeping well like eating too much sugar, drinking caffeinated drinks, eating processed foods with food preservatives and being over tired. Each of these can be aggravators that interfere with your child’s ability to relax and sleep.
Some of the more hidden factors that can be keeping your wee one from tucking in and sleeping soundly can be more related to nutritional deficiencies and environmental factors.
- Getting enough good fat in the diet ensures proper absorption of nutrients. Good absorption can help keep blood sugars stay more balanced and assist in better sleep. (fats from butter, eggs, avocado, coconut oil, bone broth soups)
- Getting enough water. A small pinch of sea salt and squeeze of lemon in your child’s water can allow for better absorption of water and keep them better hydrated. (1/2 their body weight in ounces per day- stop fluids within 2 hours of going to bed to avoid bed wetting)
- Eating a small protein snack 1 hour before bed can sometimes be useful (clean source of deli turkey or chicken with thin sliced red pepper, avocado)
- Vaccinations can sometimes have an effect of poor and irritated sleep for weeks to months after the inoculation (seek information to consider detox approach appropriate for children at Cedar Wood Natural Health Center)
- Reduce the use of electronics or use of wireless baby monitors. EMFs (electromagnetic frequencies) can be disruptive to the brain waves relaxing for better sleep.
- Avoid chemical laden foods, cleaning products and body / bath products. Some children have sensitivities to these chemicals without an outward allergic reaction. Irritated mood and poor sleep can sometimes be their body’s reaction.
- Be sure to filter tap water and sometimes even the bath water. Chlorine can cause irritated digestive system and/or cause inflammation of the sinuses and lungs.
- Avoid foods your child may be sensitive to. These could be aggravating to digestive system and then the involuntary nervous system making hard to sleep. (non-intrusive food sensitivity evaluations available at Cedar Wood Natural Health Center).
- Try to keep the temperature of the bedroom no higher than 70 degrees.
- Explore the use of essential oil aromatherapies like lavender on the pillow (sensitivity testing recommended before use) to assist in relaxation and sleep.
There are so many factors that can be connected to sleep patterns for you or your child it is hard to try to include them all here. If you are interested in learning more please call 802-863-5828 or visit our website to join our mailing list and receive our free e-health newsletter or watch for our schedule of free classes in our natural health center classroom. We hope you found this information useful and may you and your families sleep easily and well.
Written By Dr. Suzy
Dr. Suzy Harris is a chiropractic physician based out of South Burlington, Vermont at Cedar Wood Natural Health Center. Dr. Harris pursued a career in chiropractic to provide a powerful alternative healthcare to people with difficult-to-treat conditions and to people who are still suffering from common ailments because of traditional medicine not working. Dr. Harris’ philosophy is that the body has the powerful ability to heal itself with proper support which is why she encourages her patients to take an active role in their healthcare.
The focus of her care is to provide each patient with a holistic, individualized healing program teaching them how to maintain improvements with lifestyle changes including ongoing support, exercise plan, cooking tips, stressmanagement and other health care services when needed.