Sleep is such a crucial component of our health and even more specifically, of our kids’ health. Childhood illnesses cause a great deal of discomfort which sometimes doesn’t let them sleep. Pain, cough, runny nose, itchiness, fever, etc – may be interfering with your child’s sleep and as a result lowering the effectiveness of their immune system. Is it possible to boost immunity with sleep? Yes!
Research shows that adequate sleep affects our body’s immune response. In one study scientists found that mice that got enough sleep were able to fight off bacteria and viruses much better than mice that lacked sleep. A lack of sleep will increase kids’ susceptibility to viruses and bacteria.
Here is a list of general guidelines for kids sleep
Newborn babies – 15 – 16 hours per day
4 – 12 months old babies – 14 – 15 hours per day
1-3 years old – 12 – 14 hours per day
3-6 Years old: 10 – 12 hours per day
7-12 Years old: 10 – 11 hours per day
12-18 Years old: 8 – 9 hours per day
How to help kids sleep better to boost immunity?
1. No TV or computer before bedtime – TV and computer screens emit blue light which is translated by our brains as daylight. This in turn will lower their melatonin secretion (the sleep hormone).
2. Try to keep their room as dark as possible – our bodies secrete melatonin (the sleep hormone) when its dark, a bright room will interfere with this natural cycle which will prolong their awake time.
3. Make sure their room temperature is cool – Studies show that the optimal room temperature for sleep should be between 60 to 68 degrees. Many parents keep their upstairs rooms too warm which interfere with kids’ sleep.
4. Give your child a hot bath right before bedtime – this relaxes the body and signals that it’s time for bed.
5. Make sure your kids’ room is free from electromagnetic fields (EMFs) – their room should not have too many electrical devices, no cellphones charging, no plugged computers. Although we cannot see what EMFs do to us, we can certainly sense it! Next
time you feel your child is restless for no apparent reason, check if there are too many electronic devices turned on. Some researches recommend shutting off all power in your house right before bedtime. I know this is not feasible during the winter, but it might be an option during summer time.
How to help kids sleep while they are sick?
For the most part, I don’t recommend using pharmaceuticals such as Tylenol (Acetaminophen) or Advil, but if your child is miserable and didn’t sleep for hours, it might be a good idea to give them something just so they get a few hours of sleep. During sleep our immune system can do its job in a fast and effective manner, rather than in an awakened state. This way, both you and your child can have a good rest and speed up recovery. Keep in mind that Tylenol (or any other chemical drug) is very toxic to the liver and should not be given on a regular basis.
Do this to help detox your child’s liver after administering Tylenol
Here is a list of things you can do at home after your child has recovered from the illness in case you had to administer Tylenol or other chemical drug to help with sleep, fever or pain.
1. Keep them well hydrated with pure filtered water! Put a slice of lemon in their water (you don’t have to squeeze the lemon into the water, unless they don’t mind the sour taste). Lemon is known to be a fabulous liver detoxifier.
2. DO NOT VACCINATE YOUR KIDS WHEN THEY ARE SICK! Vaccines are loaded with many toxic chemicals and heavy metals including MSG, GMO yeast, formaldehyde, aluminum and mercury. It is a bad idea to expose kids to these toxins while their immune function is already compromised.
3. Feed them with organic fruits and vegetables during sickness time and after recovery. Some non-organic fruits and vegetables not only travel thousands of miles until they reach our stores, but also are laden with pesticides and herbicides which are harmful chemicals we don’t want to expose our children to when their immune system is weak. It is a good idea to go completely organic, but if this is not an option for you, make sure to feed them organic for at least two weeks after recovery.
4. Don’t feed kids with commercially raised meats or poultry for at least two weeks after recovery (it is a good idea to go completely organic with meats). Commercially raised meats are very high in toxins which are stored in animal’s fat. Additionally, they are given a steady supply of antibiotics and steroid hormones. A post-flu body has a weak immune system and therefore needs a break from environmental toxins. Two weeks after recovery feed them mostly with organic fruits and vegetables and plant-based protein meals.
5. Eliminate processed and fast foods – I recommend to eliminate these from kids’ diet altogether, but especially after recovery! They are filled with toxic synthetic chemicals, including preservatives, dyes and ‘natural’ and artificial flavours.
6. Probiotics – this step is particularly important if your child had been given antibiotics, because antibiotics kill the bad guys but also the good guys! Probiotics contain friendly bacteria which play many important roles in digestion, immune system response, and detoxifying. It is important to restore them if your child had been on any prescription drugs.
Hope you find this helpful!
Remember that kids are quick to get sick but also quick to heal. Small changes in the kitchen can help your kids enjoy a healthy and vibrant childhood 🙂
To your kids health!