All specialists agree that sleep is a basic need for children. The duration and quality of sleep are essential for well-being and development, both physiologically and psychologically.

Yet, many parents deal with managing their children’s sleep disorders on a regular basis.

Thus, according to a recent survey by Opinion Way, one in four parents say their child suffers from at least one sleep disorder. This figure increases among those over three years of age.

Sleep: a factor in good development

It is during the night that everything learned during the day is assimilated. This is why restful nights with sufficient hours of sleep are essential.

Quality of sleep has an overall impact on health and well-being and makes it possible:

  • To reinforce learning (language, motor skills, reasoning, etc.)

  • To manage your emotions more easily;

  • To stay alert and awake all day;

  • To increase the duration of concentration on complex tasks;

  • To promote good growth;

  • To strengthen the immune system.

What are sleep disorders?

Sleep disorders refer to several biological disturbances, whether at bedtime or at night. In most cases, the child is not subject to a single sleep disorder but has several, 1.2 on average.

The most common include:

  • Recurring nightmares;

  • Snoring or breathing through the mouth, which can cause discomfort;

  • Sleep rhythm disorders with delayed falling asleep;

  • Sleepwalking;

  • Stress at dusk and bedtime.

These different states lead toddlers to wake up during the night at least once. Recent studies have shown that approximately one in two children wakes up at least once a night.

Lack of sleep: consequences impacting child development

If the lack of sleep continues, it can affect the daily life of little ones:

  • They become more irritable;
  • They need to take longer naps during the day, which can cut them off from social life;
  • They are drowsy and cannot get up in the morning.

These consequences can become more embarrassing when these disorders persist over several months without being resolved: growth retardation, mood, behavioural disorder, etc.

Solutions that can improve the sleep of the youngest children

Sleep disorders can be particularly complex to manage, and it is not uncommon for parents to feel helpless. In this case, natural health products can greatly support promoting sleep and reducing the amount and duration of nocturnal awakenings.

This solution seems popular since 26% of households report using natural health products to improve children’s sleep*.

Some plants are best suited for promoting relaxation and falling asleep:

  • Lemon balm, Melissa officinalis, helps calm stress and tension to promote relaxation. It is particularly recommended for difficulties related to sleep and falling asleep;

  • Lime, Tilla sp. is a plant that promotes sleep and nocturnal rest;

  • Chamomile, Matricaria recutita, is known to promote rest and relaxation and also plays a beneficial role in the quality of sleep;

  • Hawthorn, Crataegus laevigata, is used for its calming and anti-stress properties that promote faster sleep.

And because the youngest children cannot consume them as infusions, syrups or gums are particularly suitable. Their pleasant taste and playful form make it easy to integrate these natural active ingredients that promote sleep and relaxation into your bedtime routine.

The family environment: an important factor in promoting a good night’s sleep

If using plants and other natural active ingredients benefits sleep quality, the family environment is also very important in facilitating calm and falling asleep.

Bedtime and wake-up time

To avoid disturbing your child’s biological clock, keep more or less the same bedtimes and wake-up times when possible, even during vacation periods. This makes it possible to avoid spending several weeks trying to find the school rhythm.

Establish a sleep routine

To soothe small anxieties at nightfall, it is best to set up a routine that allows you to prepare for sleep. This can include bathing, which promotes relaxation, reading, or sharing a moment of calm and child-parent exchange. Thus, the child will feel reassured and more inclined to go to bed.

Limit stimulating screens and activities

For tireless people who are always on the run, try reducing all stimulating activity and turning off screens at least one hour before bedtime. Instead, opt for reading or quiet board games that will keep your little ones occupied by offering them a period of relaxation.

*Harris Interactive Poll