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!
Discussion (53 Comments)
Hi-you read my mind. I woke up this morning so exhausted from newborn teething/gas etc.
Where can we buy the glass spray bottles?
i wondered why you chose Mountain Rose herbs… I am just getting into essential oils and have heard a lot of information about which is best… and pure… I respect your opinion and would like it on choosing essential oils….
My favorite go-to for ingredients is Mountain Rose Herbs. I am not affiliated with them, but they are local to me. I pick up my orders from their storefront, and I can tell you that they are the BEST people! They are knowledgable, friendly and good people! I have emailed suggestions, and questions, and they always get back to me within a day, with answers or helpful tips.
They have great products, and list all the information you would want to know like where it comes from, how it is produced, etc. Their prices are fair and very reasonable.
Katie, do you have a source for the glass bottles you use for this and other products that you make?
Katie, you’re simply the best! You have helped me in numerous ways. There is something I must know–how do you help your children to understand the healthy choices you make? How do you erase the gleam that the media puts on terrible food?
Thank you for everything!
Katie - Wellness Mama
I talk to them about food an how it affects the body and though it has been a slow process, they do seem to be making good choices most of the time, even on their own. I’ve found that little ones especially like learning how specific foods affect specific parts of the body. I also explain to them that advertising is there to sell a product, not to educate them so to take everything with a grain of salt.
I have heard lavendar can cause hormonal problems in kids and cause puberty to start too soon.
Lavendercan mimic estrogen in the body and that’s what can cause the issues you are mentioning. There was a case where 3 young boys were devolping breasts but once their mother stopped using a lavender remedy on them their symptoms disappeared and they developed normally.
I am going to try your sleepy time foot spray but I just have one question. It says that you only use Lavender diluted on your children in recipes and I do intend to use the foot spray on my 2 yr old so I’m wondering in the recipe if the 10 drops of Lavender oil need to be diluted BEFORE adding them or if the pure oil is diluted enough in the mix of the recipe? Thanks so much….you are amazing for sharing so many great ideas!!!!
Never heard of flakes.where can i buy this.can i use magnesium sulphate instead.am from mauritius.wuld luv to try this.luv ur page u r a wonder.
You can also diffuse oils on your nightstand! I do this every night. I use doTerra’s Cedarwood oil and the Serenity blend. Sometimes I use Vetiver oil with the Serenity blend. I sleep like a baby! (I never understood that phrase coz most babies don’t sleep!)
I noticed you aren’t recommending doTerra essential oils. Is there a reason for this?
I was wondering the same thing!
Probably because this is who she uses for everything and if you read her disclosure at the top it states that she is an affiliate with Mountain Rose Herbs, plus with Mountain Rose Herbs, you can purchase in bulk which makes it significantly cheaper than doTERRA or Young Life, both of which are network marketing companies.
I am very allergic to lavender what are some other essential oils that help with sleep?
I use cedarwood and vetiver (doTERRA brand) on the bottom of my husband’s feet to help him sleep. He has been diagnosed with sleep apnea (post-combat injury) and essential oils help him get a better night’s sleep. (Not claiming any cure here, though.)