Of all the ways we use essential oils in my house, sleep issues, especially with my kiddos, seem to be how we use them the most. If your kids are like mine they may not sleep for a host of reasons… potty breaks, don’t want to go to sleep, bad dreams, not feeling well, naturally waking up in the middle of the night, scared of the dark, a bad storm or my personal favorite… ready for breakfast and cartoons at 3:30am… yeah, go back to bed kid.
One of my kids seems to have some kind of aversion to sleep. She has never been a “good” sleeper and has always needed a little “help” falling and staying asleep.
If you are looking for a little help with your own kids (and I assume you are because why else would you be reading this) then I’m going to let you in on THE game changer for my family.
My secret weapon?
When it comes to helping your kids sleep a diffuser is your best friend.
If your kids have trouble falling asleep then turn it on at bed time. If they wake up in the middle of the night and have trouble going back to sleep then get it ready before bed so all you have to do is turn it on when they wake up. What if they do both? I like to put essential oils ON my kids at bed time and then have the diffuser ready to go for the potential midnight waking.
I’ve experimented by not using the diffuser (or oils at all) for a few days and inevitably my youngest will throw longer and much louder fits at bedtime plus she wakes up more during the night. She still fights bedtime with the diffuser but we are talking a 5 minute tantrum instead of 45 minutes! And she sleeps through the night most of the time too!
Which Essential Oils Help Promote Sleep?
My absolute most favorite combination to diffuse is Lavender, Cedarwood and Tangerine. Lavender has been used for centuries to aid relaxation and promote sleep. Cedarwood has been shown to induce serotonin which is then converted into melatonin (which helps us sleep). Tangerine can help ease anxiety, calm the mind and has it’s own sedative properties. Together these three essential oils can really help adults and children alike fall asleep and stay asleep longer. And they smell REALLY REALLY good too!
Below is a graphic of my favorite sleepy oils to use for my kids.
There aren’t any hard and fast rules when it comes to using essential oils but there are some general guidelines to follow.
When diffusing oils, especially around children, start slow. Typically for a small room 4 – 6 drops altogether is usually enough. You may choose to do even less. I personally do not diffuse around babies because I don’t want the smell to bother them and they are going to wake up to eat anyways. But once they are sleeping through the night (at least 6 months old) I have the diffuser on for about 10 minutes before turning it off. Once they are toddlers, I turn that diffuser on at bedtime and let it go!
For topical application there are a few things to remember:
Young Living does not recommend topical application on babies younger than 6 months.
Dilute, Dilute, Dilute! The younger the child, the more dilution is required. My personal guidelines are:
6 months – 2 yrs: suggested dilution (on the bottle) x 8
2 yrs – 6 yrs: suggested dilution x 4
6 yrs – 10 yrs: suggested dilution x 2
10 yrs and up: suggested dilution on the bottle
*This is just my personal guideline. You may find different suggestions elsewhere.
The feet are great places to put oils on children because the skin is usually less sensitive.
You can also make a spray bottle of essential oils and water to spritz on your child’s pillow at bedtime. I have girls so we call it “Princess Spray”.
I’ve also been known to put a drop or two on their sheet when I’m half asleep in the middle of the night!
My last suggestion is to keep trying different oils in different combinations. I tried several before I realized our “magic combo” is Lavender, Cedarwood and Tangerine. The others either didn’t work well enough or they worked great at first but stopped helping after a few days. When you find your magic combo, it’s like finding the holy grail of parenting, it’s worth the search!