In this blog we’ve covered tips to help YOU sleep better. But what about your kids sleep?
I don’t know about you, but I would have done just about anything to help my son Griffin sleep longer when he was a baby. For about two years, his average wakeup time was 5:30am. And it didn’t matter if we put him down at 6pm or 8pm, he was still up at the crack of dawn.
My husband and I survived – barely – by taking shifts. I remember googling “how to get kids to sleep” over and over again looking for ideas :).
Help may be on the way
New research from the University of Oxford found that a common supplement can help kids sleep nearly one hour longer and experience fewer sleep disturbances. The test was conducted with 362 children in the UK between ages seven and nine over a 16 week period. For 5 of those days, the kids wore fitted wrist sensors to monitor their movements during sleep.
Here’s my video on how to help your kids sleep longer
So what is the common supplement?
The supplement that helped the kids sleep in the study was Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish, notably DHA. Specifically, they took 600 mg DHA supplements every day.
The researchers believe that the DHA helps release melatonin, that mysterious hormone that helps us fall asleep.
How do you give your kids Omega-3 DHA supplements?
Extra Virgin Cod Liver Oil is my favorite source. If you give your child 1/2 tsp. per day, you’ll be at ~300 mg of DHA while also supplying them with important fat-solble vitamins A & D. If you combine that with oily fish a few times a week, you’ll be on your way. (For example, daily 1/2 tsp. of cod liver oil plus 2 – 3 ounce servings of salmon per week would equate to the study dosage.)
There’s also this supplement by Nordic Naturals, which does have an added natural Vitamin A, but it’s a quarter of the price of the Green Pasture brand.
Don’t expect results, er, overnight
Note that the kids in the study experienced these benefits after four months of supplementation. So don’t expect the benefits to come immediately.
But, take heart in that DHA and Omega-3s are great for other things too from improved learning, behavior, eyesight, immunity, and heart health. Sadly, most of the kids the researches studied had alarmingly low levels of omega 3 in their blood. Combined that with the fact that most processed and packaged food is high in the omega 6 oil, kids can suffer with an unhealthy fatty acid balance.
Will this same supplement that helps kids sleep help YOU sleep?
Will these amazing study results hold true for adults too? Lead researcher, Montgomery laughs “Someone should come along and give me a nice little pot of money to test it out,” but his hunch is that they would. Definitely worth a shot!
And, for what it’s worth, one thing that’s been proven to help adults sleep better is tart cherry juice.
How do you help your kids sleep?
Has any natural remedy or technique worked well for you? Share with us in the comments below!