Thursday, February 21, 2013

Sleep Troubles

Welcome to the February 2013 Natural Living Blog Carnival: Addressing Sleep Challenges.

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Natural Living Blog Carnival hosted by Happy Mothering and The Pistachio Project through the Green Moms Network. This month our members have written posts about how they address sleep challenges in their homes.

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Now this is a doozy of a topic for us right now! For starters, Spencer just cut 3 teeth. His Baltic Amber necklace helps a lot, but we also use Hyland's Teething Tablets when he is having a rough time. The roughest times are when he can't sleep. So... teething tablets occasionally administered during the night when he woke.

However, Spencer was recently diagnosed with hyperthyroidism. (We've met our Endocrinologist and are headed for further testing.) We caught it very early and the doctor stated that Spencer didn't have any symptoms. Only... I then researched the symptoms and we have one: restlessness. Over the past few weeks it has gotten worse. Its worse than the teething making it hard to get to sleep. He often wakes every hour, but sometimes wakes as often as every ten minutes.

I am sleep deprived much of the time and driving to appointments has literally become a grave risk. Something has got to give!


Spencer, sleeping through a chiropractic adjustment

With the help of some friends, I researched Melatonin and asked the Endocrinologist and Pediatrician for their approval. Both signed off without argument. My doula, however, suggested Valerian Essential Oil in a base of coconut oil, rubbed into the soles of his feet. I liked the idea. The local store only had Valerian Root, though, no essential oil. We're trying it anyway while we wait for some Valerian Essential Oil that she ordered to arrive.

Then I happened to be looking in my "medicine cabinet" one day and noticed a product I'd forgotten we had: Calms Forté 4 Kids. Its also from Hyland's, a brand I already trust. I thought it might help both of my littles to sleep better. The first night I tried it was actually the night this post was due. Sasha (3½yo) absolutely slept more solid than she has in a long time! She didn't wake once! I saw some results from Spencer, but it was pretty minor. That is why I went ahead and got the Valerian Root.


Sasha asleep in her new bed,
when we started transitioning while expecting Spencer.

Spencer is still waking quite often through the night. Adjusting my own attitude and sleeping in pajama pants (rather than angrily pulling them on in the middle of the night to come downstairs with him) has made a big difference for me. He is falling back asleep faster, too. One of the most baffling points, though: Spencer wakes about 20 minutes after my head hits the pillow every night.

I am sorry to not have more results to offer yet, but am very much looking forward to reading other posts in the carnival as well!

What home remedies and/or natural products have helped you right your little ones' sleep cycles?

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Visit Happy Mothering and The Pistachio Project to learn more about participating in next month’s Natural Living Blog Carnival!

Please take some time to enjoy the posts our other carnival participants have contributed:


11 comments:

  1. I have to ask how you get them to take this stuff! My kids have fought all efforts on my part to give them any sort of supplements, except gummies. I can't even sneak stuff into drinks! (I know I sound psycho.) Have you tried the Valerian oil on the feet yet??? I know they also make a melatonin creme.

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    1. I was having a HECK of a time getting the Calms Forté under Sasha's tongue. She just could not understand how to LIFT her tongue with her mouth open. But then I figured out - she LIKES them! I can not get her to take anything, but this... its like candy. She asks for it. Its crazy.

      And Spencer, if I hold one tablet up in front of him to see, he'll open his mouth. He is great at taking all kinds of medicine. I give them both Oxy-Powder. For her, I mix it with juice and for him, I mix it with breastmilk (and water if I can't get enough milk out).

      With my older daughter, in case this helps, I used to offer her a cherry right after medicine. The idea was that it gets the nasty taste out of your mouth. I would literally hold it up right behind the medicine spoon! I hope that helps!

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  2. These are all such great options! I love the feeling of having a cabinet of natural remedies available, although I also know the feeling of being sleep deprived from being up with the little ones... and then almost nothing seems like it can help enough ;-)

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  4. Many of us have been there! I have been told not to use melatonin because it can mess with the body's natural rhythms long-term, but I'm very curious to hear how the Valerian essential oil works! I hope you can get some sleep soon mama!

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  5. Oh mama! I feel your pain. I think I could write an entire very long book about all the different natural remedies and gentle techniques we've tried to help my 18 mo sleep better. No one would want to read it though because none of them have worked so far! I hope you find something that works for you and your littles! I always just say hopefully he'll be sleeping by the time he's 5?! :)

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  6. It's so hard when you just get comfortable or about to fall asleep and you are awaken. I hope you find something that works perfect for your family and soon!

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  7. We're in the middle of sleep issues too. Great suggestions for natural sleep remedies. We need to try them.

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  8. I've never heard of the Valerian essential oil! What a great tip...I want to try it out with my terrible sleeper!

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  9. We were just discussing melatonin in our house but I wasn't are thyroid issues could cause restlessness (being that DH and I have issue, that might be worth exploring). We are currently doing Peach & Claming by Young Living, and it does make him a bit less "ON" so to speak. We will have to look into the Valerian Essential Oils as well. Do you think it is absolutely necessary to put the tabs under the tongue?

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    1. You may not have known about restlessness if you have hypothyroidism. Spencer has hyperthyroidism. People seem to be far less familiar with it.

      I think it is impossible to keep tabs under a baby's tongue, so no. I think they absorb better directly into the system if you can get them to dissolve there. I just try to place them there and leave it at that. Even that can be iffy sometimes!

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