Young children are often full of exuberant energy, but it can become disruptive when a child always fights off sleep or has bedtime tantrums. Ayurvedic approaches to help children sleep include natural ways to help children sleep better, resulting in fewer night-time disturbances. Here are 5 Ayurvedic sleep remedies suitable for children:
- Combat vata-related sleep imbalance
In Ayurvedic tradition, the three doshas are the elemental energies that affect mind and body. The vata dosha is associated with wind and movement, and excess vata is often at the root of sleep imbalance. Children whose minds run as they get ready for bed should eat foods that balance vata, including warm, cooked meals that avoid stimulants such as sugar.
- Combat pitta-related sleep disturbance
A child who wakes in the small hours and can’t get back to sleep might have a pitta-related imbalance. The fiery pitta dosha is aggravated by stimulation and heat-generating foods. Give your child more food (but keep the amount within a reasonable range due to natural sugars). Also, adopt a pitta-pacifying lifestyle. This means making sure your child is in bed and asleep before 10:00 p.m.
- Combat kapha-related excess sleep
Older children sometimes are hard to wake for school and seem tired no matter how much they sleep. This can be the result of excess kapha, which causes a slow and sluggish disposition. Heavy, cold foods (such as cold custard) can aggravate Kapha, so it’s best to give a child who needs excessive sleep lighter (though still substantial), warmer foods. It’s also important to make sure the child who has a kapha imbalance gets plenty of exercise.
- Avoid stimulants in general
Stimulants such as caffeine and sugar affect adults, creating a buzz of energy. Picture how much more excess energy is created in young bodies. Avoid giving your child food containing added sugar and avoid sources of caffeine (even dark/bitter chocolate is quite high in caffeine). This will ensure your child feels sleepier earlier and isn’t bouncing off the walls at 11 p.m.
- Walk your child through guided relaxation
Young, active minds respond well to stories, so turn bedtime into a relaxing story time. Tell your child to imagine a scene and describe somewhere peaceful and beautiful and calm and create a hushed, sleepy atmosphere. If your child becomes wise to this approach, you can also give your child a natural, sleep-time tea such as chamomile (if your child won’t fuss about the taste).
The above five Ayurvedic approaches will help your child to enjoy better, deeper sleep so that you can enjoy bedtime too. Contact Ashishveda now to get your life back.