Getting your child to sleep



Natural ways to help your child sleepI often get a number of children, brought in by frustrated parents because the child is restless and can’t sleep at night. These children also sometimes show signs of aggression, which suggests they are in an atmosphere that could be over -stimulating them.

To assist your child to sleep, there are many practical things you can do to create an atmosphere that will not over-stimulate them and create harmony, both from a practical and energy placement point of view.

Feng shui is the art of placing objects in your environment to create harmony. It is thousands of years old and now not only used in China but worldwide. The principle is that what is around you in your external world is a reflection of what is going on inside, and one affects the other.

Many of us energy workers and therapists realise the truth in this, but to the sceptic I say just try it and see what happens. You have nothing to lose. You can search for feng shui online to get an insight into how it works, if you have never investigated it before. However the art of feng shui is not as easy as it sometimes looks and, if you are in doubt as to what to place where in your home, it’s good to consult an expert who works with energy.

Over-stimulation does not fit into any bedroom, let alone that of a growing, enquiring child, so the first step is to remove technology from the room. That means the computer and Internet connection need to go elsewhere, which is also handy because your child will not be distracted by things they could be doing rather than sleeping. Sending your child to bed in a room filled with distractions does not mean they are necessarily sleeping behind that closed door, and none of us need to argue about turning off the computer at 11pm.

Remember also that the wireless internet is giving out a signal through your whole house. While this may be handy to have for many reasons, it may be interfering with your child’s natural patterns and causing sleep issues. If you can’t move the computer, then it is best to make sure there are no sounds coming from it because it has been left on. The best sound at night is that of classical music as it has a relaxing effect on the brain, so it might be nice to play some to create a soothing atmosphere while your child is dropping off to sleep.

Electric pollution includes having the switchboard on the other side of the wall from the bedhead. The solution is to turn your bed around or convert that room into something else and have your bedroom elsewhere. Nice lamps are much better than overhead harsh lights and make sure the blinds are drawn so early morning sunlight does not wake your child. Also avoid fluorescent lights for their harshness and stimulation.

Remember to switch off the power points you are not using in your house. This will also help with your electric bill at the end of the month and conserve electricity you are not really using. I would also remove the TV from the bedroom and make sure mobile phones are not in the room or near the bed (even for adults). If you want to use the alarm on a mobile, place it elsewhere where you can still hear it and have to get up to turn it off. It’s a good way of getting you out of bed in the morning.

In addition, remember that allergies will affect sleep, so it is a good idea to check that there is nothing your child could be allergic to in the room. This includes wallpaper or carpets, which can harbour dust and chemicals as well as cleaning products. In the case of children with special needs, remember they are even more sensitive. You may need to look at what the mattress and the bed frame are made of. Perhaps your child is reacting to artificial products in bot,h so these need to be kept as natural as possible.

Food plays an important part in your child's healthFood also can play a huge part in over-stimulating a child. Cut down on the gluten and sugars. Cut out all those fizzy drinks and junk foods loaded with colourings, and give your child a simplistic diet of protein, fruit and vegetables. I would also suggest some sensitivity testing from your natural therapist to find out what foods may be causing your child unseen problems. Often levels of inflammation can cause children concern and they don’t even know why they are feeling out of sorts. It can go undetected for years.

In terms of the energetic atmosphere in the room, from the standpoint of feng shui much can be done to calm the daytime aggressiveness of a child and create a soothing atmosphere. Peaceful bedrooms need to be uncluttered with lots of space to create an open atmosphere and harmony. Remove the dirty clothes basket and the waste bin and make it comfortable with soft furniture, lots of pillows and bean bags, and softer toys. Surround your child with pictures of nature and calmness, and put the action figures, cars and cricket bat away in a cupboard for the night, making the room into a soft, rounded haven conducive to rest and relaxation.

Colours and lighting are also very important. The floor needs to be the darkest colour in the room, as that will serve to ground your child; the walls need to be a placid colour such as pale green, which is calming; and the ceiling needs to be a light colour. Stay away from reds and oranges and even bright yellows as they are too stimulating.

Also look at the position of your room with regard to the rest of the house. Is it near the garage or above it? This is not the best position for a bedroom but its energy can be remedied with a small mirror positioned facing the garage wall, or under the bed facing the garage below, to deflect the energy. Mirrors used in the normal manner however have no place in the bedroom. They are not good for your energy while you are sleeping as they can disturb the sleep pattern, so if your child has a mirror in the room it’s best to remove it.

Furthermore, the bed ideally needs to be against a solid wall and your child’s legs should not be facing the door. Also take note of where the air conditioner is in the room and hang a crystal or mobile between it and the bed. If the air conditioner is above the bed, a dream catcher is a good solution. Stand at the door and divide the room mentally into nine squares. The middle square on the right-hand side when you are facing the room is the creativity and children’s square. Make sure this area has nothing unbalanced in it or anything too stimulating and, if it does, remove it and replace it with some of the soft items mentioned.

Parents should encourage children into healthy waysChildren have different needs to adults however. Just as you are feeling cranky after not enough sleep, if you allow your child to get into a pattern where they are sleep deficient, they will become cranky and aggressive. There are many different reasons why your child may not be sleeping and many natural solutions. Herbal supplements, vitamins and Bach remedies can all assist your child to become healthier, more peaceful and a well rounded adult.

It is important to create this sleep pattern when children are young and to teach them tools to overcome the issues that may keep them awake at night. Often fear of the dark and the boogie man are replaced by fear of confrontation and other fears as they get older.

Talk to your children and never ignore or brush off what they say as silly or insignificant. They may be trying to tell you something and just not know the right way to say it or even know exactly what is going on. As their parent you can help by encouraging them to explore the issue.

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Jenetta Haim runs Stressfree Management at 36 Gipps Road, Greystanes, and specialises in assisting your health and lifestyle in all areas by developing programs on either a corporate or personal level to suit your needs. Jenetta has just published a book called Stress-Free Health Management, A Natural Solution for Your Health available from your favourite bookstore or online. For more information and to get in touch, visit her website.