Oh yes, the number one subject on all parents’ lips – sleep! How many hours…
Sound machines aren’t just for babies, they can be used to settle children of all ages. Sounds can soothe children to sleep compared to no noise at all. It is not the noise that disturbs sleep, but rather a change in noise. Therefore, having consistent noise is actually better than having quiet; in a silent room, you are more likely to hear outside noises which can interrupt sleep.
In addition to sound having the ability to impact a quality night’s sleep, scents also play a role. Various essential oils and scents are known to be calming and sleep-inducing. They can be used individually or combined for a personal oil blend and there are numerous ways to introduce essential oils into a child’s sleep environment, whether through a diffuser, a few drops on their pillow or a room spray.
Studies have shown that white noise is soothing to infants and can reduce the time taken to fall asleep. The consistent sounds are sleep-inducing, but if you do decide to introduce a white noise machine into your child’s bedroom at night, be sure to keep the volume low as higher volumes over an extended period of time can be damaging to hearing.
Ocean waves have a similar effect to white noise machines; the sound of waves is fairly neutral and soothing and calming to fall asleep to. As with white noise, keep the volume low. Having a sound machine not only ensures constant soothing sounds but it also blocks out any sudden noises from outside or other rooms in the house. It is these sudden noises or disruption of noise that startles children awake at night.
Lavender is an incredibly popular calming fragrance that eases anxiety and agitation. It has been shown to relax the mind and body to improve sleep quality. It can be used in a variety of ways; if you would rather not fragrance your child’s room, look to dilute a few drops in their bath to soothe them before bed. Remember that essential oils are oils in their purest form and can cause reactions; they should never be applied neat to the skin but instead should be diluted with a carrier oil such as almond oil or coconut oil. The dilution should be 1% essential oil for infants and can be increased as they get older. Another option is to choose fresh lavender and place it in their room; this provides a nice decoration also.
Vanilla is a pleasant and sweet scent that most people enjoy. It is also a potent relaxer which has been proven to lower the heart rate during stress tests. You can use it on its own or mix it with other relaxing scents such as lavender or rose to create a personal essential oil blend for your child’s room.
Known for being soothing and relaxing in all respects; chamomile tea is grounding and soothing to the body, chamomile can be used topically as a lotion to soothe the skin and the scent can have the same effect on the mind. The specific essential oil is called ‘Roman Chamomile’, which promotes sleep and supports the nervous system. Similarly to other essential oils, Roman Chamomile can also be mixed with other scents such as sweet orange, to create a personal blend.
Your child’s sleep environment is key to a good night’s sleep; it needs to be cool, comforting and relaxing. Sleep is personal and often based on contentment and happiness. If there are certain sounds or scents your child enjoys, consider incorporating these into their sleep routine.