author of Feeding Eden


Everyone is trying to figure out how to get a good night's sleep. Lately, you can't open a magazine or newspaper without bumping eyes into a perky list of improved sleep suggestion like...Take a warm bath! Reduce late night alcohol consumption! Get your exercise in the a.m.!

But most parents would like the lists to read like this: Go to a hotel alone! Don't let your child drink after 4:00 p.m! Consider non-traditional uses for Dramamine!
Since we are loving parents (yes we are) and do not want our children to go to bed thirsty or unnecessarily medicated we deal with the with nocturnal urination, the narratives of being chased but being frozen and you weren't there! And the other numerous interruptions to our REM cycles.
My first child was a champion sleeper. Eden was not. Kids with medical issues don't tend to be. For example, Studies show that Autistic children struggle with sleep for several reasons. But when Eden was younger there wasn't a lot of discussion about the allergy-sleep connection. 
I did my own research and discovered that chronic eczema interferes with children's sleep more than chronic asthma. Chronic Reflux is another sleep culprit. Eden had both of those conditions. So I tried to be creative - drops of sub-lingual melatonin under his tongue, dabs of chamomile oil on a tissue tucked into the crib corner and the nail scraping tunes of a Hush A Bye CD playing out into the darkness. 
Ultimately, nothing helped much until Eden felt better. He grew. He outgrew a few allergies; got new allergies; had setbacks; and eventually his skin cleared and his reflux disappeared. When he was about five, his sleep improved, as did ours. 
I think the print media can save their word counts and sum it up like this: When you feel well you'll probably sleep well. So do stuff that makes you feel truly and honestly good.