If your child is suffering from sleep challenges, life can be very frustrating. Sometimes it seems that your son or daughter just will not go to sleep; at least not at any time when you both can benefit from it. May I suggest that you try these tactics to help your child to drop off to sleep quickly and peacefully.

A few drops of lavender or vanilla oil in your child’s bath water will soothe him or her. You could also add these essential oils to your rinse water when you do the laundry may also ease your little one into sleep. A reed-diffuser strategically placed in your child’s room will also aide to calm and relax him or her.

Some children will fall asleep to music. You could experiment with playing peaceful music quietly in the room at bedtime. Many children love being sung to; and a lullaby often works. You can also try reading interesting stories or poems to your child in a very calm voice. Not only will it calm your child, it may also spark conversation the next day. This works even when you think the child is too young to understand the complexities of the story.

Many younger children feel secure when they are being rocked. As they get older, a soothing backrub can calm a child enough to make falling asleep swift and gentle. Many babies will also fall asleep when they are walked in their stroller or driven in the car. It can be very frustrating to have baby sleep at these moments when you have no chance of sleeping yourself; but you could try putting baby in the stroller or the car and going for a very short trip. After all, it is about what is best for your child!

Above all else, try not to transfer your anxiety about the sleep challenges to your child. While this may be hard to do when you are desperate for your child to doze off, it is very important. If your child feels your anxiety and associates it with sleep or nighttime, he or she may become afraid to fall asleep or scared of the dark. This could cause sleep problems that continue could continue into adulthood. Try to create the feeling that sleep is a pleasant and happy state to fall into, and stay in, by keeping yourself as calm and happy as possible while you are trying to get your child to go to sleep. Chill-out music may help you with your own emotional state!

If the current sleep routine that you are using is simply not working, consider making some changes either to the routine or to your lifestyle. You can try alternative bedtimes, having both parents put the child to bed together, change your child’s daily routine, incorporating fresh air exercise, (when appropriate, sharing walks), daytime naps or the time that you get up in the morning. Do not try to force your child into a routine that only suits you. You may have a child with a very different temperament than your own. Being supportive of his or her sleeping habits increases trust, sharing and caring.

Finally, if these tips do not help, seek professional advice. It is important to know what is normal and what is not, and to get some help for any serious sleep issues so that they do not affect your child’s ability to adapt to changes in his or her environment. Remember, a rested child is a healthier, happier child.

Author's Bio: 

From 1993 until 2003, I was a make-up artist, technical support coordinator and Artistic Director in the theater. I was responsible for designing & constructing sets, constructing/procuring props, designing & constructing costumes, designing & applying makeup & prosthetics, script preparation & dialog coaching for actors.

This required my working very closely with a variety of people with diverse personalities and skin conditions. I worked with everyone from young children in the Serenity Players of Washington through senior citizen participants in the Ms Senior DC Pagent. My youngest client was four months old; my oldest was 94 years young! During that time, I became acutely aware of my effect on the actors I worked with. I began to research how to positively influence their performances and their moods through scent. I began burning Lavender, Vanilla & Peppermint candles & Essential Oils to sooth "performance anxiety" and energize my actors.

I continue to enhance my environment with Aromatherapy, and use it for Meditation, Prayer & general well-being.