The other night my six-year-old daughter came to our bed, she had had a bad dream. She had trouble settling back down to sleep and woke up with me when I nursed our six-month-old baby. Eventually, we all got back to sleep.
A cry from the kid’s room, my three-year-old son was calling me. “Can you please snuggle with me?”. I got in his bed and fell asleep before my head hit his pillow.
Late that night our six-year-old (remember the girl with the bad dream?) comes to my son’s bed where I’m now sleeping and complains that she is still having trouble sleeping while she is in our bed because our baby is coughing.
“For real?! You are coming to wake me up while I’m sleeping in your brother’s bed and you are in my bed, with your dad, to complain that the baby is coughing?”
I woke up (tired) the next morning and decided it was time to get out the big guns!
Lemon balm is a great calming herb. I use a tincture (an infused alcohol) to help manage stress. I take a few drops on days when I feel my patience is wearing out.
Lemon balm is a mild antidepressant, according to Maimonides, a medieval herbalist, and Dioscorides, the Greek herbalist, used it for “sweetening life.”
In her wonderful book, ‘Medicinal Herbs’ Rosemary Gladstar recommends a using it to soothe children with recurring nightmares. That’s perfect for us!!
For the kids, I decided to make a glycerite, which is an infusion in glycerin. Glycerites are great for kids as they are non-alcoholic, and very sweet, so they won’t let you forget to give it to them before bed.
Soothing syrup for good sleep:
Fill a jar ¾ of the way full with lemon balm leaves (fresh, dry or both).
Cover with a mixture of ¾ glycerin and ¼ water.
Allow infusing in the dark for three weeks.
Shake bottle periodically.
After three weeks strain through a fine sieve. Store in a dark labeled bottle.
For adults: A teaspoon in a small glass of water.
For kids: 2-3 years: 10 drops
3-5 years: 12 drops
4-6 years: 15 drops
6-9 years: 24 drops