The Importance of Holistically Addressing Questions Relating to Adult & Child Sleep Challenges

by Mar Oscategui, founder of IMPI and author of Awakening Through Sleep 
When parents experience a child sleep challenge or their own sleep challenge, one of the most common paths parents take to solve the ‘problem’ is one of public inquisition, usually with the general questions being asked right from the start. Quite often parents seek the support of online forums or public groups where the root of sleep issues are not being addressed but rather general questions are asked and general answers are given by others based on the other’s experiences and probability and particular paradigm, which rarely is holistic in nature.

Most questions asked do not come along with important details about their lifestyle or health history that need to be factored in before receiving even basic advice or suggestions.  There are so many forces that affect sleep and in order to get the root of the challenge we must first investigate the strongest forces that affect sleep in order tofirst rule those ’causes’ out.  Any one who is answering health/sleep questions while knowing little/nothing about the clients health history, blood work, diet, emotional well being and all the rest of it, is just throwing darts at best, hoping to knock out the main ‘problem’.  Rarely is there just one main ‘problem’ or factor, and more often than not there are many forces acting upon a family preventing them from getting good sleep.

The Holistic Science of Sleep Method provides the framework and understanding that supports parents and professionals in addressing the many forces creating a sleep challenge, in order of importance.  A  holistic sleep practitioner will address and analyze all these forces one by one  hitting upon the major (and often overlooked) factors early on the process.  But in order to do this, a great amount of detail and information needs to be collected with regards the clients health, emotional wellbeing and lifestyle history, including their recent blood work. Oftentimes the job of a holistic sleep consultant is to  refer the client to the right health practitioners who can rule out and analyze certain imbalances. There is rarely/never just one ‘problem’ affecting someone’s sleep. It is usually a combination of many factors/forces, each one building upon the other and this is why a holistic approach is suitable in addressing sleep challenges. 
Below are some examples of foundations and solutions addressed by a holistic sleep practitioner:
  • Rule out medical issues
  • Make sure all adult or child’s physical and emotional needs are met 
  • Make parents/caregivers physical and emotional needs are met
  • Assess Sleep history, birth history, health history of adult and child
  • Assess Quality of Breath of Child & Adult
  • Assess Stress Levels, Energetic Tempo, Rhythms, Temperaments of self and family
  • Assess  self-confidence and , intuitive abilities
  • Assess quality of Relationships, alignments, connections and support systems
  • Assess Bedroom and Home Environment
  • Assess Sleep/Wake Times, Food and Drink Intake and Activity Level in a 24 hour period
  • Assess Family Lifestyle
  • Assess Short & Long Term Goals
  • Inquire about recent medical visits, medications, and diagnosis
  • Get a Full Blood Panel checking for any imbalances, deficiencies (iron, magnesium and vitamin d deficiencies for example may inhibit sleep)
  • Investigate food sensitivities/intolerances/allergies with a highly qualified holistic naturopath who can provide various testing options from elimination diet to blood work
  • Trace/Uncover the Root of Child Behavior
  • Understand the Language of Crying
  • Reprogram Expectations, Attitudes and Beliefs For Sleep
  • Trust Baby Knows How To Sleep and Wants To Sleep: Allow Your Baby to Teach you to Sleep
  • Consider Sleep as a Social and Shared Experience not a Solitary One
  • Consider Sleep as a Family Sleep Issue and just a Child Sleep Issue
  • Heal Trauma
  • Resourcing: Apply Tools/Techniques When Triggers and Stressors Arise 
  • Invite and Create Support System
  • Strengthen Connections to Self and Family through Play and Eye to Eye Contact
  • Be Present to Maintain Connection and Insight
  • Be the Change: Understand your sleep history and role model healthy sleep for your child
  • Allow Babies to Play and Be Fully Expressed throughout the day.
  • Invite and Allow a Transition from Day to Night
  • Invite a Bedtime Ritual/Routine/Family Rhythms
  • Support a Child’s transition of any change they are experiencing through integrating the old and new versus going cold turkey from old to new
  • Relaxation Becomes Your Lifestyle
  • Take Daily Pauses: Train your body to release during the day through short pauses of breathing meditation
  • Eat an a pro-sleep diet
  • Hydrate
  • Exercise/Move
  • Ensure Bedroom Environment is Green and Create a Sleep Sanctuary (check indoor air quality, electronics shut off)
  • Get Sunshine Upon Waking
  • Follow a Regular Schedule

copyright 2016

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