I love it when the days get longer and it stays light really late, but it also makes it almost impossible to get my kids to fall asleep at night. My goal in the summer is to have fun with my kids all day, then they go to sleep and Bill and I get to watch something on Netflix. But sometimes it’s 9:30 or 10:00 by the time we coax the last of the monsters to get off the trampoline and stop running through the yard and just lie down — Oh, please, just lie down! And I don’t want to start watching a movie at ten o’clock at night. It’s just too late and I’ll fall asleep in the middle of the movie and wake up slumped over on the couch next to Bill who is also asleep and slumped over. We look like we’re taking a very sad bus trip across America.
So I’ve been developing a strategy that makes my kids fall asleep naturally. They just start to get tired. They want to stop running around. They crave sleep. Or at least get as close to craving sleep as is possible with children.
Here’s what I do:
1. Bath time — Take a bath with a few drops of lavender essential oil. Buck takes a shower now, so for him I just sprinkle some essential oil in the shower. I don’t sprinkle it on him. You don’t want to put it directly on your skin.
2. Tea and toast — Everybody gets a snack. I give them Traditional Medicinals Chamomile with Lavender tea with lots of honey. Honey really helps you sleep, chamomile has tons of health benefits and lavender is relaxing. Plus, toast fills them up — and when you’re filled up you get sleepy!
3. Himalayan salt rock lamp — I got these for everyone’s room. Salt rock lamps release negative ions into the air. Negative ions are really good for you. They de-stress you, make you happy and peaceful and they also fight positive ions — positive ions come from computers and electronic things and they are not good for you. If you want to learn more, click here. We have salt rock lamps on all the time and my kids use them as cozy night lights.
4. White noise machine — August has the most trouble falling asleep. He’s like a meth monkey on crack at night. I had one of these white noise machines when he was a baby and just recently broke it out again. He likes choosing what to listen to (waterfall or the ocean or crickets) and then he lies down, stares at his salt rock lamp and listens to peaceful sounds. So far, fingers crossed, it’s working.
5. Organic sheets — I was so excited to find organic sheets at Target. I can’t vouch for the fact that organic sheets make you sleep better, but I don’t want my kids to sleep on a bunch of chemicals. There are chemicals in growing the materials that make sheets and then chemicals added so the sheets stay wrinkle free — yuck. If you want to learn more, read here. These organic sheets at Target aren’t too expensive and sooooo comfortable. Plus, the sheets that I bought have a little label in them that says —
I almost cried when I saw it. I’ve never had a fitted sheet with that label. Thank you, sheet gods. (By the way, Target is having a Memorial Day sale, so you might want to snag these while they’re ten percent off.)
6. Dream Boat — Sometimes we’re out and get home too late for the whole bedtime routine, I use this flower remedy. My kids love it and I think it really helps them get a good night’s sleep.
This bedtime strategy has been working like a charm for us. I implemented it about a week ago and so far the kids have gone to sleep at such a reasonable time, we’ve been able to catch up not only on House of Cards, but Mad Men. If this keeps up, by the time summer is over we’re going to be like movie critics.
What about you? Any great tricks to get your kids to sleep? I’m always open to adding anything to our routine that helps tame our wild beasts.