Restful, restorative sleep is crucial for everyone and especially for children. Many factors can interfere with a child’s ability to sleep, including illness, over-stimulation, nightmares and fear of the dark and other anxieties. Homeopathic remedies can address underlying illnesses that may be causing wakefulness as well as restlessness and insomnia. If your child continues to have problems sleeping, is under a pediatrician’s care for an ongoing condition or shows signs of serious illness, be sure to consult your pediatrician.
Choosing a Remedy
There are a number of combination homeopathic products for children and adults especially designed to promote sleep. Generally the ingredients in remedies for adults and children are similar, if not the same, but the delivery is different: Products for children are usually available as liquids or in easy-to-dissolve tablet form. Hyland’s Calms Forte 4 Kids is one such product.
A child who has had an exciting day and cannot sleep because he is over-stimulated will benefit from kali phosphoricum. A child who sleeps but then wakes up after midnight, as if frightened, may benefit from calcarea phosphorica; this remedy is also useful for growing pains and teething. A child who needs calming or is suffering from colic will benefit from magnesium phosphoricum; this is a common component in combination remedies. A child who was frightened during the day and has trouble falling asleep will benefit from aconite. If your child is anticipating an exciting day tomorrow and can’t fall asleep, she may from gelsemium. Ignatia is the classic remedy for sleepness due to grief or sorrow, as when your child loses a beloved pet or grandparent. A child who wakes in the middle of the night and can’t get back to sleep because he is worried will benefit from nux vomica. A child who is fussy, crying and wants to be held will benefit from chamomilla; this remedy also helps with colic and teething pain, and is the best choice for a child who seems inconsolable. Passiflora incarnata is a traditional homeopathic remedy for inducing normal sleep; it is a good choice for children who are “too tired” to go to sleep. Avena sativa is available as a single remedy and you often see it in combination sleep remedies; it is said to be nourishing to the nervous system, and can help relieve insomnia after an illness. Stramonium is the remedy of choice for children who suffer from nightmares or a fear of the dark; it also helps children who wake frequently and have trouble falling back to sleep.
Always follow the dosing recommendations of your homeopath or those provided on the product you purchase. If the product comes with no dosage instructions, use one to three pellets of the 30c strength remedy as a single dose. For younger children, you can crush the pellets between two spoons and add a drop of water. You can also place the tablets in a cup of spring water, let them sit for five minutes, then shake vigorously. One tsp. of this water serves as one dose. You will generally see results in only a few moments if you have chosen the correct remedy. If not, try a second dose in 15 to 30 minutes. If two doses do not produce results, try a different remedy.