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Friday, January 20, 2012

Bach Flower Essences to Help Kids Sleep

I don't think there is a parent alive that hasn't at one time or another had some issues getting their child to sleep.  Probably not many that haven't had their own sleep disrupted at one time or another as well because of nightmares, night terrors, or just a "mind that won't quit". 

There is a Bach for that!  In fact, there are a number of Bach Flower essences that might help. It's always best to customize the Bach Flowers to the person needing them.  It might surprise you why your child is having problems sleeping.  But the most typical essences for sleep issues would include Rock Rose, Aspen, White Chestnut and Mimulus.

Rock Rose is the essence that balances true terror.  It's helpful when you are frozen in fear. If your child is waking up suddenly, and totally terrified, this essence might help. This is the essence to consider if you child is experiencing night terrors.  They are more extreme than nightmares and if you've ever witnessed a night terror you'll understand what I mean!  Often the child won't even be fully awake and may even appear violent as they struggle with some unknown force that is threatening them at a sleep level. They may look right at you and seem to be awake but nothing makes sense and it's pretty much impossible to "get through" in a rational way.  They may not even realize they had a bad dream in the morning. Rock Rose helps calm that terrified state and restores courage and presence of mind. There's a pretty good chance if you need to give your child Rock Rose, you might need a few drops yourself. They are a frightening thing to watch.

Aspen is another essence to consider for a child that is having difficulties getting to sleep or staying peacefully sleeping. Aspen is indicated for fears and worries of unknown origin. In my opinion, we make a mistake when we think that childhood is a carefree, problem free time. Some children feel suddenly fearful or worried without knowing the reason why and without being able to identify the source or issue. Often this is increased at night when the room is quiet, distracting stimulus is actually decreased and one is left with their own imagination and unknown energies. Aspen may help if your child either wakes up with a nightmare of can't get to sleep because of fear. The difference between Aspen and Rock Rose is more of degree. The Aspen state is a worry or general anxiety for no known reason. Sometimes it's described as feeling something is there or hearing something that can't be identified.  Aspen would be the essence to help keep that boogy man or monster away. Rock Rose is more extreme, a sense of terror more than worry.

White Chestnut is always a good essence to try when you or your child can't get to sleep. In the combination remedy marketed as "Rescue Sleep", White Chestnut is added to Rescue Remedy. In a White Chestnut state you can't get your mind to shut down and it just plays a recording over and over. In Sweet Shack & Bach Bar Norma benefited from White Chestnut during her sleepless nights. The child that can benefit from White Chestnut can probably very accurately describe what they are thinking about if they are willing to tell you. Sometimes it's good things, sometimes it worries, often it's a combination of the day's activities. White Chestnut can help replace worry with a peaceful mind. Once your head is clear you are more likely to be able to drift off to sleep.

Mimulus might also be an essence to consider either on it's own, or in combination with some other essences if you child can't sleep. Mimulus is particularly helpful if the child can't get to sleep because of a known fear. If they are afraid of the dark, or afraid someone will break in while they are sleeping, afraid you won't be there when they wake up- these kinds of fears can be helped with Mimulus. Unlike Aspen where the fears are unknown qualities, Mimulus fear can be clearly identified and is probably the reason why night lights were invented!! Mimulus can help your child face their fears getting their emotions under control so they can think their way through what is bothering them and enjoy life without fear.

Sometimes we all need a little help and understanding in this world.  Sometimes our fears and anxieties don't make a lot of sense, but always they deserve to be acknowledged.  Sometimes you can talk your way through. Sometimes a patient parent and a hug goes a long way. Melvin Balloons might be a good book to open up the discussion if you're sensing an issue is keeping your child awake at night.

Bach Flowers are safe for use with children without producing side effects.  They don't interfere with other medications and you don't develop chemical addictions to Bach Flowers.  Since they are vibrational in nature you don't have to worry about allergies or overdoses.  And if you're awake at night worrying about why your child is having trouble sleeping- you might consider a drop or two for yourself!!

Pleasant dreams.

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