Natural Sleep Remedies that Really Work

If you or someone you love suffers from insomnia, or has trouble sleeping, you know how hard it can be. It can be tempting to try pharmaceuticals, but sometimes natural sleep remedies can be just what you need to be off to dreamland.

Woman sleeping on white bed - Natural Sleep Remedies

And while it's hard for adults who can't sleep, it's really hard when your child is suffering.

Any child can have a hard time getting to sleep, but for parents of children with special needs, bedtime can be particularly difficult.

What should be a pretty simple concept of putting a child to bed can become an ongoing series of night upon night of stress and anxiety that makes bedtime a source of nothing that resembles rest at all.

Now, we have not solved all of the sleep problems in our family by any means, but we have learned some things that I hope will be helpful for you, wherever you are along this path of parenthood and whether you have special needs child or not.  In fact, all of us could use more sleep these days, so read on -- no matter your age or your stage :-)!

Trouble Sleeping in Our Home

This has been an ongoing problem that started when our oldest was still an infant.  He would not sleep for any period longer than 30 minutes at a stretch in any given night.  And typically the total amount of sleep that I got was only 5 hours.

I was a zombie.

When that same child was about 6 years old, we would put him to bed only to have him come out over-and-over-and-over again, telling us that he just couldn't sleep.  And that would go on until midnight or later, when we all finally collapsed.  Not a good recipe for family peace.

I know, most people would just say, "Why don't you just put him in his room and tell him that he'll get a punishment for coming out or a reward for staying in."  For us, the anxiety that resulted was simply untenable.

We've done a bit of work in this area.  And these days, our son needs someone in the same room with him, but he at least gets to sleep quickly.

So while it is not a perfect situation, we are all getting approximately what we need in the sleep department -- and that works for us.

Possible Causes for Sleep Problems

1.  Physical Disturbances

Special needs children often have heightened sensitivities.  What might be a non-issue to a typical child might be a "big deal" to a special needs child.  As such, you may need to pay special attention to the physical aspects of your child's bedroom.

Allergies

It turned out that our son's frequent wakings were due to food allergies.  When he was nursing, I was eating foods that he was allergic to as a result he had horrible eczema.  Once we had testing done and the foods were eliminated (completely!!), the itching stopped and he slept.

Temperature

Sleeping in a room that is too cold or too hot can cause anyone's sleep to be disturbed.  Maintaining a comfortable sleeping temperature can be a big help.  Also, cold feet can be a big problem, so if your child's bedroom is a bit cold, make sure that you try having your child wear socks, in particular, to insure a good night's sleep.

Noise

Due to their sensitivity, all noises may make it hard for your child to sleep.  A simple fan or air filter can provide white noise to make sleep come more easily.  In our son's room, we've alternated between a fan and a white noise maker.  We've tried several of them but so far this sound machine is the best one that we've found.

Toxins

Typically we think about air pollution as being from cars, factories, and the like. However, indoor air quality is getting more and more attention as it should. Modern houses are more tight and modern products typically have more VOCs and synthetics than in previous generations.

You could consider improving the air quality of your home and bedrooms by purchasing a quality air filter or simply bringing some air purifying plants into your home.

2.  Emotional Disturbances

We all know that stress disturbs sleep.  Here are some possible causes and remedies.

Anxiety

Anxiety from all sources can cause problems in slumber-land.  Our son has gotten worked up from many things, but mainly from family stress and frightening reading material.  Reducing how much stress your child is exposed to and limiting exposure to material that may be frightening is a big help.  Even material that may not be ostensibly frightening but can cause mental confusion (like fantasy stories) can be too much for some children to handle.  For obvious reasons, violent and occult media content should be completely avoided.

Stimulation

This is one area that, together with anxiety, has been hard for us to curb.  Listening to the stimulating radio music or broadcasts (that means sports for our son), or being on the internet too late at night can cause sleep disruption, including waking too early.

Woman sleeping on white bed - Natural Sleep Remedies

Natural Sleep Remedies

We've worked with a number of practitioners and have done a lot of research over the years,  and we have found the following natural sleep remedies to be helpful.

Melatonin

We found this to be a real help in our household.  We don't use a whole capsule; we just open the capsule up, pour it in a container, and give him about 1/10 of the capsule before bed.  (We use Now brand 3 mg capsules.) You can also buy tablets and break them as needed.

Magnesium

Magnesium can be taken orally or can be used as a foot or bath soak (in the form of magnesium crystals or epsom salts) or in a magnesium oil or lotion.

GABA

Promotes a relaxed state of mind

Valerian

An herb known for sleep-inducing qualities.  Look for a standardized version.

Essential Oils

These have helped me on and off.

Relaxing Sleep Herbal Blend

This blend has a lot of herbs in it that support sleep (including valerian that I mentioned above). I have found it to be effective on and off.

Phototherapy Patches

One new thing that's helped that I didn't expect is phototherapy patches. They interact with your body to create changes that result in homeostasis. The Silent Night patches actually enhance your quality of sleep. For some, they make a huge difference.

The Silent Nights Patches really help me. Sometimes I add a Carnosine Patch on as well. If you would like more info reach out at adrienne@wholenewmom.com. Or you can join with a wholesale account to try these out.

1. Go to https://lifewave.com/wholenewmom/enrollment/enrollmentconfiguration

2. Click JOIN at the top right

3. Select your country

4. Click JOIN NOW. If you already have an account click LOG IN. You can make your username FirstLast or whatever you like.

5. I recommend the Bronze or Silver Starter Kit for getting started, depending on how many patches you want to buy initially. The more you buy, the more you save. The X39 30-day supply equals the price of 2 of any of the other patch pack. The Price breakdown is as follows:

  • BRONZE: You get 2 regular patch sets or 1 X39. $124.95 = $62.47 each
  • SILVER: You get 6 regular patch sets or 3 X39s (or a combo). $299.95 = $49.99 each.
  • GOLD: You get 11 regular patch sets or 5 X39 + 1 (or a combo). $499.95 or $45.45 each.

There's a helpful group on Facebook that I can add you to where you can see other options for using these.

Of course, for any of the above suggestions, you should consult with a professional health care provider regarding your individual situation.

How about you?
What natural sleep remedies or techniques have helped you?

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46 Comments

  1. The comments in a Grow Network article about milky oats infusions impressed me. That said, I searched (on Etsy)... 1oz of dried oat-tops per night adds up and prices are way up there.

    Unless you can harvest the oat-tops yourself, the cost is prohibitive. I guess because drying milky oat-tops at "raw" temperatures isn't easy to do in any quantity without a high risk of spoilage.

    A second option is oatstraw but even that gets pricey fast in the 1oz/day quantity.

    Or maybe dried oat groats? Wouldn't be the same but worth a try?

    MontanaGlutenFree.com has "raw" oats that they say have the enzymes intact because the type of Montana-grown oats they use are hull-less and do not require the steam-then-dry process required for hulled oats.

    Great River Milling, of Wisconsin, has Canadian organic non-irradiated oats (Amazon).

    https://community.thegrownetwork.com/discussion/848055/im-doing-the-30-day-milky-oats-challenge-my-results-so-far

    1. So interesting. Yes sounds like it would be about $1 a day at the cheapest price. I wonder if one could use less and still get the same benefits?

      I also wonder--they mentioned 4 cups and then in the comments they mentioned 2 cups. Which is it and why did they choose to do a whole ounce--is that normal?

      Regardless - interesting and yes sounds hard to do by yourself. Bummer! Frontier has it at a much lower price but they are out of stock right now.

      1. The article said oats are at the right stage for harvest around mid-summer. Maybe checking the Local Harvest website one could find fresh growing oats? Still, there's the matter of drying them, though I suppose they could be frozen instead.

        1. Yes, I read that -- and it talked about it being really tough to manage..I think buying quality is the best idea. From the brief amount of research I did into pricing, this is the one that seems best to me. https://amzn.to/3hD8dIA (affiliate link)

            1. Right I hear you! There's a wholesale option with them too that would save but it's out of stock now.

              1. Online friends reported that their takeaway from a recent ladies homesteading conference is that there's widespread determination among the women to do what it takes to be less dependent on the "systems". To be better able to naturally self-sustain food, healthcare, and other elements vital to their families' well-being. The Grow Network is surely riding high on that wave, with influence to drive purchases. I noticed the better deals on milky oat tops on Etsy were out of stock, too.

                1. Yes I don't have a homestead but I do try to do what I can outside of systems. I'm not great at it but better than most I think.
                  We do need each other and need to be wary of salesy stuff that's self serving and make sure the recommendations aren't taking advantage.

                  I think Frontier is the best option.

                  1. I've been chatting with Montana Gluten Free. I want to try making an infusion using green, home-sprouted oats! MGF has a sproutable "raw" whole oat groat product called Naked Oats. I'll go with the organic.

                    I mentioned your article and asked if there were any coupon codes I could share here. This is the reply I received --

                    "Yes - Coupon code "NearlySpring" is good for $5 off orders of $50 or more and coupon code "Spring22" will work for $10 off orders of $90 or more. Also, "tryMGF22" is good for $5 off orders of $30 or more. All these coupon codes are one time use and can not be combined. The spring codes expire mid-April and the "try" code is good until the end of the year."