Written by Dr. Nicole McCulloch, ND

After the long days of summer, September has quickly arrived and kids are now due to return to the classroom. For many families, this means creating a new routine which means re-establishing an appropriate bedtime. Many children can have difficulty concentrating in the classroom and can struggle academically if they do not get enough sleep. This is often frustrating for many parents as kids can be resistant to new patterns and struggle to get out of bed in the morning.

The key to success is to be consistent. School aged children (5 to 12 years old) need on average 10-11 hours of sleep per night, so ensuring that they are getting to bed early enough to allow for enough shut eye is key. Create a bedtime routine, try reading a book together or doing some other non-stimulating activity before bed. Incorporating a bath before bed can be a nice way to relax your child both physically and mentally. Make sure the bedroom is reserved for sleeping; try to keep TVs and video games out of the bedroom. If you find that your child is still struggling to wind down and relax, try incorportating some physical activity into their after school routine, just make sure it’s not too close to their bedtime.

You also want to ensure that kids are eating a health-promoting diet and that they aren’t eating too many sugary drinks or snacks as this can affect their ability to sleep. Eating high quality foods is essential not only for their sleep but for their overall health. Certain herbs, whether it be in the form of a tea or botanical tinctures can be very effective for helping to calm your child and to help with their routine. As well, many homeopathic remedies can be safely and effectively used to help your child to sleep.

If your child is having difficulties with his/her sleep or with concentration in school, call the clinic for an appointment with one of our Naturopathic Doctors

at (905)668-7987. We can talk to you about the many natural alternatives that can help your child.