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Question: I have a 3-year-old and a 10-month-old who are both poor sleepers. They wake me up numerous times during the night, for a bottle, to come into my bed, etc. Between the 2 of them, I am woken up 5 to 7 times a night. It seems like every time I drift off two sleep, one of them starts crying. I was never a great sleeper to begin with, but I am beginning to feel run down, sick, and I just plain can't function anymore. Any tips on how to improve my health & functioning until this difficult stage passes? (any special foods, vitamins, relaxation techniques, etc.?) Kaila

Answer: Dear Kaila,

There are many natural remedies and techniques that can help a person relax and sleep better but you will keep having problems if you are woken up many times during the night.

A three year old should be able to sleep through the night without problems and a regular sleep routine is important to accomplish this. The less sleep a child gets the more likely it is that he or she will have problems staying asleep at night. It is important to be consistent about getting kids to nap during the day and to go to bed at a reasonable hour every night.

Another thing to keep in mind is that your older child may be waking up at night if he or she notices that the baby is being fed and receiving attention.

As for natural remedies, melatonin is a nutritional supplements that supports proper sleep cycles. The herb valerian is commonly used as a tea to promote sleep.

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