Do you have nightmares? Do you have kids or little ones in your house who experience nightmares regularly? Are they even more extreme night terrors? Are you at your wits end with interrupted sleep for the household? I hear you!
There are times that nightmares and night terrors cycle through our house too and it's NO fun for anyone involved. The kids are frightened, neither them or mom and dad get much sleep, and my heart breaks for their very real fear. I don't know about you, but telling kids that monsters (or in our case, zombies) aren't real doesn't help. That statement seems to bring shame and embarrassment that they are scared about something fictional. It also doesn't help our kids to say that everything is going to be okay, because they logically know that, but they don't FEEL that way in the moment. And sleeping with the scared kiddo helps, but my neck and back are angry at me in the morning!
BUT...there are lots of ways we have found that help get rid of those nightmares for good (until something scary pops up and then we go through the steps again). Here's what has worked for us.
1. Talk during the day about what is scaring them. Talk through all their fears and relate to them where possible. It helps a lot when they know they aren't the only one who gets scared and that you got scared too and made it through.
2. Teach them how to cast out evil thoughts and welcome peaceful thoughts. The power of the mind is amazing! When they know how to trade out scary thoughts for positive ones, they are taking control of their thoughts. We often suggest they fall asleep thinking about their favorite ice cream sundae and what they would put on it, or creating the best toy ever, or thinking about all the people who love them.
3. Limit all electronics for the time being. We notice that when the kids are watching too much TV or playing too many video games, they have more nightmares and night terrors increase. Try to avoid all tv/gaming during the week and play games or read to relax. On the weekends, limit it to an hour or so and notbefore bed.
4. Monitor what games/shows/movies are being watched. We often have to ban certain levels of games for awhile. Currently, our 5 year old is terrified of zombies. You'd think we had let him watch a scary movie recently. But, no. The fear stemmed from a Lego Avengers video game. So that is banned for awhile, as is Minecraft (it has zombies too). We've gone back to old favorites like Paw Patrol when he's allowed to watch shows.
5. Pay attention to diet. Processed foods and sugar laden drinks play havoc on the body and mind. Stick to more natural foods and water.
6. Use essential oils. Scents have a huge calming affect. Let your little one pick a soothing scent to either diffuse or rub on their wrists and temples (make sure to dilute if you are using oils topically). We suggest Lavender, Peppermint, or Calming.
7. Take a Detox Bath. Our bodies need quite a bit of magnesium and most of us, including kids, are deficient in this mineral, which can wreak all sorts of havoc! A soothing Detox Bath before bed with a little Lavender or Calming sprinkled in and a few glow sticks to make it special might be just the trick!
8. Use your faith. Pray that God would send angels to protect the little one through the night. Pray protection over them out loud so they can hear you. Teach them how to command evil away from them. This gives them some ownership over the situation.
We hope that these suggestions will help you and your kiddos get more restful sleep. What are ways you've found to help promote restful sleep?