Sleep…ahhhhhhhhhh sleep. I love sleep….let me say that again. I LOVE SLEEP! I used to get sooooooo much sleep. I took it for granted. I could sleep in on the weekends as late as I wished. I could stay up late without ever worrying about having to wake up in the middle of the night to retrieve a fallen mummy, cover up cold feet, or refill a baba. Sleeping in until 10 am on Sunday and then heading to brunch?? Those were good times BUT, they are long gone. Don’t get me wrong…I wouldn’t trade my kids for more sleep! Well maybe one day a week, and only with their Grandma! I have tried so many things to get my kids to sleep a little bit longer-
Even after all these efforts my kids will do whatever they can to avoid bedtime and stay up a little bit later. I guess this is normal during childhood. I also have a hard time falling asleep most nights. My mind races with every thought you could imagine. I’m sure I’m not the only one with this issue! There are countless reasons people can’t sleep at night and hopefully this post will help you get some rest!
After turning to the web for a solution to our sleep problems, I discovered the wonderful world of magnesium. Magnesium is a mineral that aids with hundreds of our bodily processes. It can also help you unwind, de-stress, and sleep better. I decided to start using a magnesium spray on myself before going to bed to see if it would help me. I first tried this magnesium oil that I found on Amazon. You can find it here. The first thing I noticed when applying magnesium oil directly to my skin was that it caused a bit of burning/itching. After researching this symptom I learned that is a common occurrence. Some of the recommendations were to slowly increase the amount you apply so that your body can adjust or you can mix it with a carrier oil. I started mixing the magnesium oil with some coconut oil, it helped a ton! I also only apply it to the bottoms of my feet now. At first I would spray the oil directly on my inner arms. This was not very pleasant.
After I started using this spray in the evening, I noticed a difference in the amount of time I would lay awake in bed. It wouldn’t take me as long to fall asleep. On nights when I was feeling especially anxious and my mind was racing I felt like I needed more. I read about a magnesium drink, Natural Calm and decided to give it a try. I started taking 1 teaspoon of Natural Calm mixed with a little water and it really helps! You can find Natural Calm at any health food store. They also have it available on Amazon here. I can’t live without this drink. I don’t take it every night but when I feel I need it, it’s there for me. *Please note, magnesium supplements are not recommended for everyone. Read these warnings here.
I was thinking that since magnesium was helping me sleep wouldn’t it do the same for my kids? Bedtime is always a battle…one more show, one more snack, more water, another story, you get the idea. I decided to make a sleepy time foot rub and try it out on the babes.
I definitely notice a difference when I apply this to their feet. They don’t tend to fight as much and they sleep deeper. I rarely have to wake in the night if I have applied this to their feet before bed. Mind you I am writing this the day after my daughter wouldn’t go to bed, and my son woke me in the middle of the night for a good hour. So this is not the type of thing that will just miraculously get your kids to sleep, BUT it does help. Any extra sleep is good!
I did some research and found a couple different recipes for a magnesium oil body butter but none of them were exactly what I was looking for. This post from the Radiant Life Blog was the inspiration behind this recipe. This is my recipe for Sleepy Time Foot Rub. Safe for kids and adults! My kids are 2 and 4 years old. The RDA on WebMD does not have anything listed for children less than 12 months so you might want to check with your pediatrician before trying this out. You might even want to ask them before you apply it to your kids if they are older…please do what you are comfortable with. Obviously if you or your kids notice any negative effects from this please stop using it immediately. As the blog title states…this is what works for us. I hope it can help you too!
If you don’t want to make a rub you can get this magnesium oil roller made specifically for kids. It is mixed with aloe. I have it and we use this sometimes instead of the foot rub.
1 ½ cup coconut oil
½ cup cocoa butter
¼ cup shea butter
¼ cup magnesium oil (I use this one)
A couple drops of chamomile, frankincense or lavender essential oil (optional)
Warm the coconut oil, cocoa butter, and shea butter in a double boiler. I use a saucepan with a large glass bowl over it. I heat the water so that it is steaming but not rapidly boiling and place the oils/butters in the bowl and place it above the pan. Once the oils have melted you can carefully remove the glass bowl from the pot and set aside to cool slightly. At this point mix in the magnesium oil and essential oils. Once everything is combined pour it into a storage container and let it come to room temperature. I really like to use these tins to store the finished product. It should be mostly solid but still soft at this point. If you would like to whip it with a hand mixer leave it in the large bowl and put it in your storage containers afterwards. Whipping it will make it light and fluffy. A few notes…a little goes a long way. For kids you probably only need about 1 tsp for both feet. 1 teaspoon should have approximately 80 mg of magnesium in it if you followed the proportions above. Another thing, the base of this is OIL, it is slippery. Please don’t apply to your kids feet and then let them run through the kitchen. They can get hurt (this may or may not have happened to me). I ALWAYS put this on and then immediately put socks on (now). I hope this helps you get some good quality shut eye! I know it works for us!
*Please keep in mind that not all essential oils are suitable for children. The three I listed above are recognized as safe for children, but only use a small amount. Please use caution with essential oils! Here is some great reading on essential oil safety.
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