Sometimes, a bedtime story and a quick cuddle just doesn’t cut it for wooing your little one to sleep. Sometimes, you need a little extra sleepy magic up your sleeve. On those nights (or any night), try one of these 9 natural sleep inducers to soothe your child (or yourself) into slumber.
1. A Warm Bath – You’ve certainly experienced the full body, muscular relaxation of a nice warm bath, but did you know there are some biological effects beyond that? According to sleep expert Michael Breus, PhD, “while you’re in the tub, your core body temperature will rise, and then it will quickly drop when you get out. That decrease in temperature signals the brain to release melatonin (the sleep hormone).” That’s not to say you shouldn’t carefully cover your babe when you pull her out of the tub (please do!) – the fluctuation will happen naturally.
2. A Cup of Tea – Making tea is a great way to calm down. For older children, you can light a candle, enjoy your tea, and talk about your day together. For younger children, you can enjoy your tea and read a book. Either way, the warm liquid is naturally calming. And, with the right recipe, you can even mix up a batch of tea with extra snooze inducing effects. Click through for DIY sleepy time tea recipes.
3. A Massage – If you haven’t experienced the extreme relaxification (yes, we made that word up) of a massage, you’re missing out and must get one ASAP. If you have, we needn’t say anymore about this tip. Click through for massage tips for baby’s bedtime.
4. Aromatherapy – Research shows that aromatherapy with essential oils like lavender can promote relaxation and improve sleep quality. Try Cloud b’s Slumber Friends that include a removable pouch filled with our exclusive lavender blend that soothes and calms.
5. Lullabies – There’s something instantly soothing about traditional baby lullabies – and it’s no accident. These sweet melodies are sleep-inducing because they’re written to be simple, repetitious and naturally calming. And, they don’t just work on babies. According to a study in the Journal of Advanced Nursing, adults with sleep problems reported a 35% improvement after listening to 45 minutes of soothing music before bedtime. Make lullabies a part of your bedtime routine for classic calming impacts.
6. White Noise – White noise is proven to lull little ones into slumber. One study of 20 newborns found that infants were more likely to fall asleep within five minutes in response to white noise. It’s proven to be so effective (for all ages) that Cloud b included this soothing sound as a setting in our award-winning Sleep Sheep Collection.
7. Food – Many foods are natural sleep inducers. According to Shweta Kate, Diet Consultant, “milk is the best natural sleep inducer. A warm glass of milk will help you to sleep better.” She says, “milk contains amino acid tryptophan which has a sedating effect. Also, it has calcium that helps your brain use that tryptophan. Almonds contain muscle relaxing magnesium and tryptophan which secrets serotonin (feel good neurotransmitter) which helps you for better sleep.”
8. Yoga – Among innumerable other benefits, daily exercise promotes sounder sleep. But, don’t try crossfit at bedtime. To help transition to snoozeville, try a gentle yoga routine. The deep breathing and stretching is very calming and it’s easy enough to do with the toddler crew.
9. Peace & Quiet – Seriously, in our modern age of mobile devices, we are inundated with screens and the light and motion from these screens keep our brains buzzing long after they’re naturally tired. “That ‘glow’ from electronics is also at work against quality shuteye,” says WebMD. “The small amounts of light from these devices pass through the retina into a part of the hypothalamus (the area of the brain that controls several sleep activities) and delay the release of the sleep-inducing hormone, melatonin.” Shut everything down at least 30-60 minutes in advance of bedtime to let your natural, biological mechanisms kick in.
Do you use any natural sleep inducers? Share your tips in the comments!
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