Friday, October 30, 2020

Fall is here and we are in the midst of Fall Back Time change. Sunday, Nov 1st at 2:00 AM clock fall back by one hour.

Sunday, Nov 3rd 2019
Spring forward...Fall back....

I love fall! Cooler weather leaves changing colors, holidays around the corner and I get an extra hour of sleep. As a parent, I dread my kids waking up too early and having to adjust their sleep patterns. Do you?

If so, here are some options to help you and your family through the transition when we set our clocks backward one hour on Sunday, November 1st.

Gradual Approach: 

The gradual approach is usually recommended for younger children (3 and under) or those who do not adjust well to rapid changes in their schedules.

Start the week before the time change and slowly shift your baby's sleep schedule later.  For example: move bedtime, morning wake-up time, and nap times later by 10-15 minutes every day.

Keep moving the entire schedule later every few days but ensure your child doesn't get overtired.  By the time Sunday comes, your child's schedule will be based on the new time.  You will have gently shifted the circadian rhythm which regulates your child's sleeping patterns.

Rapid Approach: 

For the rapid approach, put your child to bed at their normal bedtime on Saturday, the ideal bedtime for most children is between 7-8 pm.

Your child will likely wake up at their normal time (6-7 am), but the clock will say (5-6 am).  Your brain will say uck!  Go ahead and get them up, they don’t know about daylight savings time, but you can keep it low key for 30-60 minutes until you are ready to start your day.

If your child is less than 3 years old and still naps then stretch him as close as you can to his normal 1st nap time (using the current clock). Water play, a stroll outside (don't let them fall asleep in the stroller) and getting outside is a great wake to keep any kiddo awake!

If you think your child can’t make it a full hour later, split the difference pushing the morning nap later by 30 min.  If that is too much, push the 1st nap later 15-20 mins and continue to do so every 3 days until the new time is reached.  The rest of the schedule will naturally be later if you follow this sleep tip.

Early Rising Tips:

The next few mornings, they may wake up a little early, but don’t let them start the day before 6:00 am (new clock).  You may need to review my blog on Early Rising if you have issues with waking up too early in the mornings or if your child is waking before 6:00 am.

Daylight Savings Tips:

On Sunday, follow your usual schedule as close as possible.  Move meals, the rest of the naps(s) and bedtime using the new clock time.

Ensure that your child is well-rested during this transition period and if needed, putting them to bed 15-30 minutes earlier for a few days is okay.

If your child had too late a bedtime before the fall time change, here is your chance to move it earlier without too much fuss.  So, if your lil one's nite-nite time was too late, don’t move it later - pretend time change didn't happen.

It may take everyone a few days to adjust but it should not take more than a week to adjust your child's sleep patterns to the new time.

Written By: Michelle S. Donaghy, Certified Gentle Sleep Coach

Photo Credit: Classic Kids Photography Newport Beach, By: Jenn

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Sleep Easy with Essential Oils

Sleep Easy with Essential Oils

We’ve all experienced sleepless nights for various reasons. Fortunately, many essential oils contain properties that can relax both mind and body, enabling you to fall asleep quickly and sleep more soundly. Sleep plays a major role in restoring and healing the body and in mentally and emotionally processing events of the day. So regular, deep sleep is vital!

Here are a few essential oil combinations and applications to help you unwind at the end of the day and prepare for a good night’s sleep!
doTERRA Children's Calmer

Calmer Restful Blend Roller promotes a serene atmosphere, allowing bedtime to be peaceful. Rolling Calmer onto the bottoms of feet and the back of the neck helps create a stress-free mood when tensions are high. Calmer can be used as part of your children's nightly ritual.

doTERRA Serenity Blend & Serenity Softgels for the adults

doTERRA Serenity combines essential oils renowned for their ability to create a restful environment at bedtime. Apply one to two drops to the hands and inhale throughout the day to help reduce life’s daily stressors, or diffuse at night to help quiet a restless baby or child.  doTERRA Serenity can be used in conjunction with doTERRA Serenity Restful Complex Softgels. Diffusion of the doTERRA Serenity essential oil blend creates a relaxing environment while the softgels promote a restful night’s sleep.

Diffuser Blends
Diffuser blends are a simple way for your mind and body to absorb aromatherapy benefits. Diffusing is especially effective at bedtime. Simply put the oils in your diffuser and run it as you start your nightly routine. Keeping the diffuser going throughout the night may be helpful too.
Sleeping Cream
If you struggle to get your little ones to sleep, here’s a simple solution that also promotes bonding through touch. A base of coconut oil combined with lavender and orange essential oils will help calm nerves, anxiety, and insomnia while promoting deep relaxation. Rub a little sleeping cream on your children’s feet as they prepared for bed. Let them rub the cream on your feet too so you can all share the benefits! Click here for the quick and easy recipe.

Insomnia Spray
If you have insomnia, try combining 5 drops lavender and 3 drops Roman chamomile with 1 oz. (30 ml) water in a small spray bottle. Mist the mixture onto your pillow and sheets before bed to help you relax and fall asleep.
Give these remedies a try to find one that works best for you. Comment below to share essential oils and applications that have helped you and your family sleep tight at night.

Sweet Dreams!
Written by: Michelle S. Donaghy
Reference from Aroma Tools Blog
PS: I'd love to help you started on your essential oil journey with doTERRA.  I will be your personal oil mentor!  Click on this link to order today - Order a starter kit

If you have questions about these products or essential oils contact me to set up a free 30-minute education around your health goals.

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Spring Forward - Top 10 tips for you and your family

In the US on Sunday, March 8th we “spring forward”! Be sure and turn your clocks forward 1 hour, before bed on Saturday night March 7th (in Europe, it on March 29).

I always think that losing sleep is a bummer, even if it's just 1 hour!  

If you have kids this change may help you sleep later.  Here's how - If you/your child(ren) typically wake at 6am, then they will likely wake 7 AM on the new clock ... if 6 AM was their usual wake up time.  If you like this change then YAY!  This is a great fix for an early riser.  See more tips below.  

Grown-ups and teens may have difficulty with this change as most go to bed too late as it is and to properly adjust to this time change we should go to bed earlier and on Monday we have to get up an hour earlier too.  

Here are 10 tips to help with the transition:

1. Do nothing to fix early rising

If you/your child(ren) typically wake at 6am, then they will likely wake 7am.  If you like this change then YAY!  This is a great fix for an early riser.

Keep meals, naps, and bedtime on the new schedule (1hr later). To protect this new wake up time.  You may also want to use continuous white noise for all sleep periods and keep the room really, really dark with blackout curtains.

2. Gradually adjust

This is ideal for children under 2 or those who don’t do well with big changes (eg: kids with developmental delays, autism, baby's under 6 months, etc).

Go to bed 15 minutes earlier every night this week.  Then each day, wake up your child 15 minutes earlier in the morning.  If napping, put baby/child down 15 minutes earlier for each nap.

Continue to adjust the schedule earlier in 15-minute increments (wake up, naptimes, mealtimes, and bedtime) until you get to your goal according to the new clock time.

3. Adjusting all at once 

On Sunday, schedule the day (wake up, meals, naps, and bedtime) on the new clock time.  But don’t start your day any earlier than 6am on the new clock time.  We call this the cold turkey method. 

You will benefit from getting the family up an hour earlier on Sunday to avoid any bedtime difficulties on Sunday night.  If wake up time is typically 8 AM on Sunday, then continue with that plan even though the body will think it's 7 AM.  That will help everyone be more tired on Sunday night and have an easier time going to sleep.

4.  Split the difference

If you think the one-hour adjustment is too much for your child, split the difference and move bedtime early by 15-20 minutes.  Start this Sunday or if you can manage it at least a few days in advance.  Once that is going well, shift bedtime early again.  Repeat this until you get to the full hour.

Don't forget to adjust your entire schedule in the same increments eg: earlier wake-up time, nap time(s) and meal times.

Here is an example for a child on a schedule of 8 PM - 7 AM
  1. Tuesday & Wednesday night: bedtime 7:40 PM, wake time 6:40 AM
  2. Thursday & Friday night: bedtime 7:20 PM, wake time 6:20 AM
  3. Saturday & Sunday night: bedtime 7:00 PM, wake time 6:00 AM
By Sunday morning the clock will say 7 AM (new time).

You can also move bedtime earlier by 10 minutes per night if that is easier.  Adjusting the wake time is critical.  Even if you/your child doesn't fall asleep earlier at bedtime.

5. Make naps a priority this week

Be sure to make naps a priority this week, this weekend and next week too!  Need help with schedules?  View my blog on Sample Schedules by age.  Consistency is your best friend. We parents can sometimes forget the factors that set naps and night sleep apart: noise level, too much daylight, etc.  Don't forget that naps are the hardest time to put yourself to sleep. You want to stay consistent in order to make their nap time the most effective.

6. Watch the sleep windows

Watch the sleep windows view my blog on Awake Windows by age).  Follow your child's sleep cues and use awake windows as your guide for both naps and bedtime.  If your child is a champ at hiding their sleep cues, try taking them to a dark room near when you think it's nap time, sometimes that will bring out the tired signs you were looking for to know when is the best time to put them down for sleep. 

7. Environment

A dark, quiet and stimulation free sleep area.  Some babies need total darkness to nap. I always recommend room darkening shades for improved sleep.  If it is a noisy home, you might want to try a loud fan or place a white-noise machine in the room.  

8. Lots of natural light

First thing in the morning get outside or open the windows for natural light.  It's important to reset the internal clock.  So get lots of bright sunlight in the morning during this transition time.

9. Make bedtime a priority

Don’t forget an early enough bedtime!  For most children that is between 7 – 8 PM.   Don't wait until your child is rubbing his eyes, yawning, or whining — that's probably too late. Put him to bed earlier. Even 15 to 20 minutes of extra sleep can make a difference.  

10.  Essential Oils

Certain essential oils have a unique chemical property making them useful for promoting a calming and relaxing aroma that can create a restful environment at bedtime.  Essential oils can be very effective and very useful during sleep disturbances such as a time change.

My favorites for sleep are:
  • doTERRA Serenity Restful Blend 
  • doTERRA Serenity Restful Complex Softgels.
  • doTERRA Calmer Roller Bottle.  
For both adults and children, you would diffuse Serenity Blend at night to create a calm sleeping environment.

Adults - Additional ways to use Serenity Blend:
  • Apply to bottoms of feet at bedtime to help unwind before going to sleep. 
  • Use in conjunction with doTERRA Serenity Restful Complex Softgels for an enhanced effect.
  • Inhale directly from hands or diffuse throughout the day for a soothing aroma.
  • Add two to three drops into a warm bath with Epsom salts to create a relaxing, renewing experience.
  • Apply two to three to the back of the neck or on the heart for feelings of peace.
Baby or Children - Ways to use Calming Roller:
  • Apply to bottoms of feet at bedtime to help unwind before going to sleep.
I'd love to help you started on your essential oil journey with doTERRA.  I will be your personal oil mentor!  Click on this link to order today -  

If you have questions about these products or essential oils contact me to set up a free 30-minute education around your health goals.

Everyone will feel the effects of clocks moving and most adjust within 5-10 days
.  But with a little planning ahead of time, you can make the transition much easier for everyone in your household.

Sweet Dreams!

Written by: Michelle S. Donaghy

PS: If you are having sleep struggles after the time change, please schedule a time for a reboot (for my current clients) or a consultation if you are a new family.  (click here to schedule that consultation today)