Give your infant a better sleep!

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An infant needs to normally sleep for 10-15 hours a day. And a child has to sleep for 9 hours per day. But 1/3 of their number experiences inadequate sleep and the consequences that follow. You may have to force them to lay still in the bed and almost force sleep down their heads. After a lot of tossing and turning, they may still experience difficulty in sinking to sleep.

Symptoms:
*The child shows resistence to go to bed
*The child never reaches the core of the sleeping rhythm. It may experience a very disturbed and interrupted sleep.
*The child is awaken with the slightest inconvenience
*Some children experience nightmares
*They may mutter, talk or even walk in their sleep.
*The child may get disrupted from a peaceful sleep within a couple of hours and start crying.
*It experiences difficulty in waking up early
*Disoriented sleep patters always come with irregular diets or lack of appetite.
*Grogginess and heavy eyes are usual results of sleeping problems.

Causes:
*The child may be reacting to external stimuli such as too much of light in the room or too much of chilled air from the AC
*Earlier disturbances in the sleep pattern must be influencing the sleep timings of the child later on. Sleeping late into the morning or a heavy afternoon nap can keep them wide awake at night.
* The lack of sleep at night experienced by a child is usually associated with something that happens when it is awake. It may revolve around an unusual diet, anxiety, emotional stress or abuse.

Herbal solutions:
* Bitter orange- Put 20 g of dried orange leaves in water. Boil and infuse for 10 mins. Strain the extract and feed it to the child just before bedtime.
* Lemon balm- Put 4 dried leaves in a cup pf boiling water and infuse for 10 mins. Strain and dose the child with it after lunch and supper.
* Dosage: 6-12 months: 15 ml
1-6 years: 50 ml
7-12 years: 75 ml
* Caution: Give only one of this at a time. And it is advisable not to go for herbal sedatives when the child has only minor sleep problems.

What else can you do?
* Regularise a proper timetable for the child with its meals.
* Let the child go to bed and wake up at standard times.
* Subject your child to proper meals, physical activitied and brain teasers all in correct proportions.
*If problem still persists, consult a doctor.

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