Ever since my first son arrived with his powerful lungs and energetic personality, me and sleep have not been best friends. Not by choice, of course, but our nights have gone something like this for the last 8+ years: fall asleep, wake up because some needs help going to the bathroom, fall back asleep, wake up because baby needs to nurse/have a diaper change/cry, go back to sleep, wake up because someone had a bad dream, go back to sleep, wake up because “how is it morning already.”
Now with five children, getting good sleep hasn’t gotten any easier. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t trade one sleep-deprived second of having our five little ones, but I did want to find ways to promote better sleep for everyone in the family. (Since long philosophical discussions with newborns about the importance of sleep for health haven’t worked to date.)
A Natural Remedy for Better Sleep…
One thing that I’ve been using for the last year or so that has made a noticeable difference in our sleep quality is a homemade natural sleep spray.
It has a variety of natural ingredients that help promote restful sleep and the fact that it has “sleepytime” in the name doesn’t hurt either (placebo works 30+ percent of the time, but if that helps me sleep, I’ll take it!)
All joking aside, I really have noticed a difference with my own sleep quality and in how long/deep my children sleep since using this.
Healthy Ingredients to Promote Better Sleep
The ingredients for this recipe evolved over time and I’ve finally found the combination that seems to work best for us. It is:
- Magnesium Oil – I’ve written about my own magnesium deficiency before and how using magnesium on my skin (transdermally) helped a lot. Magnesium oil is often very helpful for promoting sleep but can cause tingling on the skin, especially if a person is deficient, so it wasn’t the best all-over remedy for children. The solution I found was to apply a small amount to the feet only before bed and put socks on the kids. The feet are tougher and didn’t seem to tingle like the rest of the body did, and this helped improve sleep. Also, I don’t like giving children isolated nutrients internally, so this was a way for them to absorb what they needed without getting too much. You can buy pre-made magnesium oil (easier) or make your own magnesium oil at home (cheaper). Also, since I always get asked- yes, I realize it is not actually an “oil” but it is called magnesium oil because it feels like an oil when you apply it.
- Lavender Essential Oil – Lavender is considered a calming herb and it helps promote restful sleep. I only use it diluted in recipes like this and even a small amount can have a potent effect on children, so I’m careful not to use much. (I buy my essential oils in bulk from here)
- Chamomile Essential Oil – Another calming herb. Chamomile tea is often suggested before bed or during times of stress to help calm and promote sleep. In essential oil form, it is extremely potent and helpful for promoting sleep. (I buy my essential oils in bulk from here)
I’ve also found that for drier skin, using a homemade magnesium body butter recipe like this one and adding lavender and chamomile essential oils is an effective way to get the same result while moisturizing skin. This version is also less likely to sting at all.
Foot Spray Ingredients Needed
- 4 ounces of magnesium oil (buy it here or make your own with this recipe)
- 10 drops Lavender Essential Oil (or more if desired) I get mine here
- 10 drops Roman Chamomile Essential oil (or more if desired) I get mine here
Foot Spray Instructions
- Pour all ingredients into a 4 ounce or larger glass spray bottle and shake gently to mix.
- A bigger spray bottle can be used if desired and the recipe can be doubled or tripled.
- Will yield 24-48 applications (or more) depending on how much is used each time.
Other Sleep Tips
I’ve found that optimizing sleep environment also goes a long way toward improving sleep. Here are some things that worked for us:
- Ditching the nightlight for our children
- Practical tips to improve sleep naturally
- Guide to getting great sleep checklist
- Why sleep is the most important thing you can do for your health
How do you sleep? Ever tried natural remedies to help you sleep more easily? Share them below!