SLEEP! This is hands down the most talked about topic among the moms I know, especially those with young children. How can I get more of it? How can i get my kids to do it? Please! I totally get it. I have been there myself. Sleep is so essential for health. It makes sense that we start to become sort of loopy when we aren’t getting enough of it. I wish I had the magic answer for you, but I don’t believe it is as simple as that. People around us are always so quick to share their own secret trick or remedy that they promise will make your child sleep. But the thing is, every child is different, every parent is different, every circumstance is different and EVERY DAY is different. You have to find what works for you and your family. Herbs are a great place to start. There are some really great herbs that help with sleep, many of which are safe and effective for kiddos.
Tea time is a nice ritual to incorporate into your evening when you want to calm everyone down and transition to bedtime. We love tea time at our house. The kids like to be involved in the process as much as possible by picking out the herbs, scooping the herbs and pouring the tea. Make it fun! I have found that the more involved the kids are, the more likely they are to drink up. You should start tea time at least an hour before bed, so the kids don’t go to bed with a full bladder that wakes them up soon after. Below is my favorite tea blend for bedtime for both kids and adults. I hope it is a welcome addition to your repertoire of herbal remedies for your family and provides you with many nights of great sleep!
Sleepy Time Tea Recipe
1 part Chamomile
1 part Lemon Balm
1/2 part Catnip
1/4 part Spearmint
Chamomile (Matricaria recutita): Without a doubt the #1 herb for kids. And a personal favorite of mine as well. It is incredibly calming and relaxing helping us transition to bedtime more smoothly.
Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis): A nice, mild sedative, Lemon balm soothes the nervous system and relaxes the body. It is also in the mint family, so it has a pleasant flavor and aids digestion.
Catnip (Nepeta cataria): Most think of catnip and it’s ability to makes cats hyper! But it actually has the opposite effect on humans. It makes us sleepy. Catnip is a great herb for kids because it is gentle and safe but incredibly effective at helping us fall asleep. It is in the mint family, so it has a pleasant taste and aids digestion. It is often recommended by herbalists for colic due to it’s duel action of calming fussiness and soothing tummy aches.
Spearmint (Mentha spicata): A delicious, mild mint, spearmint is a lovely addition to harmonize the flavors of the tea. It supports digestion making it great as an after dinner tea. If you don’t love mint, you can easily leave this one out and the tea will still be yummy and effective.
To make your loose leaf tea blend: Measure out the herbs. Parts are by volume, so you have to choose what you want a part to be; 1 Tbsp, 1 cup, etc. The size of the part you choose will determine how much tea you will make. For example, if you choose a part to be 1 cup, you will make 2 and 3/4 cups of your loose leaf tea blend. Combine all of the herbs together and mix well. Store in an air tight glass jar.
To prepare a cup of tea: Use 1 tsp per cup for little kids and 1 Tbsp per cup for older kids & adults. Steep the tea for 5-10 minutes, strain and enjoy!
Don’t have time to make your own? Check out our organic Sleepy Head Tea Blend available now in The Little Herbal Apothecary