Up to 25% of children have some type of sleep problem. Learn about the best essential oils to support kid’s sleep naturally, and how to use them safely.
Last week, I shared a post on essential oils to help support sleep, and today I have for you the children’s edition.
In my previous post, I spoke about how important sleep is – particularly the later stages of non-REM sleep, as this is where the body goes about restoring itself. Poor sleep can negatively impact your immune system, and the way your body modulates inflammation.
And of course, it can interfere with daily life – impairing a child’s emotions, behavioural and cognitive patterns.
Some interesting sleep facts:
- Up to 25% of children have some type of sleep problem. Might it shock you to know that the results of one survey indicated that Paediatricians were more likely to prescribe antidepressant medications for insomnia than Psychiatrists?! [Source].
- 30% of young children experience nightmares
- Sleepwalking occurs in about 30% of youths and is most common in children aged 3-10 years
- Bedwetting is common – occurring in 8% of children under 4 years
- 10% of youths report they grind their teeth at night
- Head banging or rocking is reported in 5% of children
- 15% of children resist bedtime
- Up to 4% of children experience restless legs
What you can do to help support sleep naturally in children
Firstly, make sure you have the basics covered: consistent, age appropriate bed and wake times, sticking to schedules and routines, ensuring good sleep hygiene (no digital stimulus before bed, removing electronics from the bedroom, ensuring the room is dark but well ventilated), and providing a whole foods diet with regular exercise.
Secondly, consider introducing essential oils – aromatically or topically – to help balance, calm and ground, naturally.
Let’s have a look at a few of my favourites.Top Essential Oils for Kid's Sleep and how to use them safely - more here! Click To Tweet
Lavender is our most famous sleepy time herb and oil. Fabulous in the diffuser, spritzed onto linen, applied to the soles of the feet or spine (diluted), or added to a bath.
Perhaps one of my favourite essential oils of all time (alongside Bergamot), Roman Chamomile smells sunny and sweet. Chamomile is ruled by the Sun – and it works on the solar plexus chakra/manipura – your center of personal power, self-esteem, and confidence. It is incredibly soothing and calming, and known as the Oil of Spiritual Purpose.
Chamomile promotes sleeps and supports the nervous system.
Vetiver is a heavy, smoky, earthy, woody fragrance of quite a thick viscosity. Hot tip: replace the dropper cap with a small eye dropper, allowing you to easily dispense the oil.
Vetiver is sourced by doTERRA from Haiti. It is an incredibly labour-intensive plant to harvest, as its roots grow in a thick tangle beneath the earth, and require a vigorous beating before it is ready for distillation.
It is incredibly grounding, sedating and calming. As the Oil of Centering & Descent, it can bring a person back down to earth.
doTERRA’s Balance or ‘Grounding Blend’*
Balance is an absolutely divine smelling blend that may help calm overactive kiddos that have difficulty settling down. It is sweet, fresh and woody, and helps promote a sense of tranquillity. Bliss!
*Spruce Leaf, Ho Wood Leaf, Frankincense Resin, Blue Tansy Flower, Blue Chamomile Flower, and Osmanthus Flower essential oils in a base of Fractionated Coconut Oil.
doTERRA’s Peace or ‘Reassuring Blend’*
doTERRA’s Peace aka ‘Reassuring Blend’ smells a bit like a temple to me. The negative emotions it helps transform are attachment, fearfulness and feeling unsafe. This blend is incredible support for unsettled children.
Add to your diffuser, or use the pre-diluted roller ball (Peace Touch) to apply at the soles of the feet, to work as an anchor providing security, safety and calm.
*Vetiver Root, Lavender Flower, Ylang Ylang Flower, Frankincense Resin, Clary Sage Flower, Marjoram Leaf, Labdanum Leaf/Stalk, Spearmint Herb.
Another calming essential oil that is specific to fussy children. Use it aromatically to promote peace and sleep. Marjoram can be paired with Easy Air to support clear airways at night.
Frankincense supports the nervous system, grounds, anchors, raises vibrations and balances emotions. It enhances the potency of other oils when used in combination. Diffuse to ease anxiousness, restlessness, impatience, hyperactivity and irritability.
Even though oils in the citrus family are typically uplifting and stimulating, Wild Orange can relieve nervousness, fear and a busy mind, yet still remain incredibly calming.
Juniper Berry has an affinity for the kidneys and bladder – which, in Traditional Chinese Medicine, is where we store fear. A fun way to get the kids engaged is to make up a spray to spritz around the bed to ‘ward off monsters’.
In addition to using essential oils, you may like to experiment with the Bach Flower essences if there are bad dreams, fears and nightmares. Mimulus is indicated for fears you can name – such as fear of the dark, whereas Aspen is indicated for a general feeling of fear you can’t pin point. A few drops in water sipped before bed can be helpful.
The other oil with an affinity for the kidneys and bladder is Cypress – this can be diluted appropriately and applied topically over the bladder to help prevent bedwetting.
doTERRA’s Easy Air or ‘Clear Blend’*
Easy Air is helpful to open the airways and clear congestion to support an uninterrupted sleep. Lavender would be a good combination here as it can help neutralise mould spores in the air, which can often trigger allergy or asthma symptoms.
*Laurel Leaf, Eucalyptus Leaf, Peppermint Plant, Melaleuca Leaf, Lemon Peel, Cardamom Seed, Ravintsara Leaf, Ravensara Leaf essential oils.
Topical applications for Kids
Fill a 10ml glass roller bottle with a carrier oil like fractionated coconut oil, then add 3 drops lavender oil (a 1% dilution) for children 2-6 years, or 6 drops (a 2% dilution) for children 6-15 years, then apply on the soles of the feet or along the spine before bed. See here for guidance on age appropriate dilutions and here for a dilution chart.
Diffuser Blends for Kids Sleep
When diffusing oils in a child’s room, make sure it is well ventilated, and use less than you would for yourself. Start with 3 drops and check in on the room to make sure the smell isn’t overpowering, add more if needed.
- 1 drop Lavender, 1 drop Roman Chamomile, 1 drop Juniper Berry
- 3 drops Peace
- 1 drop Lavender, 1 drop Vetiver, 1 drop Balance
- 1 drop Lavender, 1 drop Vetiver, 1 drop Frankincense
- 1 drop Roman Chamomile, 1 drop Vetiver, 1 drop Juniper
- 2 drops Balance, 1 drop Wild Orange
Kid’s Sleep Myst AKA ‘Monster Repellent’
If they’re scared of the dark or scared of monsters – try combining 5 drops each of lavender with juniper berry in a glass spray bottle filled with 30ml of boiled and cooled water, then shake vigorously and get your little one to spray their own bedding and the corners of their room to banish any baddies before bedtime.
How to Buy doTERRA Essential Oils
If you’re ready to give these beautiful plant extracts a whirl I can help you get hold of top quality essential oils at the best prices.
In addition to getting your oils, you’ll become welcomed into a vibrant community of fellow oil-lovers and get personal support from me directly.
If you know you’d love to get on them right away,
I’ll guide you through how to purchase them here.
If you’d like to chat further,
you can book a free consult with me here.
And if you’re local to me in Auckland and would like to come along to a class,
have a look at my timetable here.
Sweet dreams all!
Always read the label and use as directed. If symptoms persist, see your healthcare professional.