My husband cannot stand bedtime.
Not our bedtime- where we ourselves are actually going to sleep… because, who doesn’t love that time when you get to actually go to sleep?!
No, no. It’s the kids bedtime that he can’t stand.
I mean, he seriously hates it.
And honestly, I’m sure he’s not alone. It’s not particularly my favorite time of day, either, but my dear husband is certainly not a fan.
If you’re a parent, you know how it goes.
That window between “everyone is fine” to “everyone is losing their marbles” closes pretty quickly with little ones. And there are just so many things to do in the 30-ish minutes before bedtime: pick up your stuff, put your away laundry, wash your face, or if it’s bath night, take a bath (a whole other thing that I will not get started on here).
Then its brush your teeth, brush your hair, pick out your clothes for tomorrow, find the favorite animal/blanket/magical item that is crucial to this child falling asleep, yet always seems to go missing during this critical time of the day.
And then on to: pick a story, argue with siblings about which story to pick, read the finally agreed upon story, pray, sing, turn out the lights and call it a day.
And then get a drink of water. Or six drinks of water.
And then the inevitable tiptoeing downstairs 15 minutes later to proclaim “I’m scared.”
“You. Are. Not. Scared. You are tired.”
And then the re-tucking in.
Why do I always say yes to the re-tucking in? I’m such a sucker.
It is, perhaps, the most exhausting time of day, when we’re already running on empty. Sometimes it’s adorable and funny and sweet. But mostly, it’s exhausting.
However- in the midst of the crazy and the chaos and the not listening, I do try to hang on to a few evening rituals to bring about peace and calm and sleep and childhood memories that do not involve the parents being total basket cases.
We still have a baby- although, I admit, I am probably stretching the term “baby” when describing our 18-month old- and he still likes to rock and snuggle before bed, and he loves to hear our favorite bedtime song, so I do that. And those moments are adorable and sweet. (This is before he’s screaming like a madman, ticked that I put him into his crib.)
And my girls still love for me to come and sing them a verse of the “Froggy Song” and squish them in their beds. I also spritz them with an essential oil blend that we affectionately call “Sweet Dreams” spray before we pray and call it a night.
What’s in our Sweet Dreams Spray
Our Sweet Dreams Spray is a blend of essential oils that are known to help bring about relaxation and calm and a restful night’s sleep. I mix it in a little atomizer spray bottle with some distilled water and witch hazel and keep it in the kids bedrooms. I love the way that it smells and so do my kids. While we do diffuse a calming blend at bedtime, I still like to have this little spray bottle to spritz on their pillows or over their heads.
But it’s more than just a little ritual and a nice smell. Essential oils have complex components that actually promote healthful benefits and support our bodies. They have the ability to shift mood and help our bodies to heal…. The simple act of breathing them in can give the body an extra set of tools to promote wellness.
Like sleep, because that is something that is crucial to feeling good.
Gosh, I could use more sleep.
And they’re pure and natural and potent and effective, when sourced from reputable companies. So YAY!
Using essential oils aromatically is quite possibly the easiest and most effective way to benefit from them. The way it works is that the essential oils are breathed in through the olfactory system and head directly to the limbic system in the brain, where they can start to do some serious work in effecting the chemical responses in our brain and throughout our bodies. It’s pretty amazing, actually. Each oil has a specific, complex chemical make-up that makes it effective for a variety of things, so for our Sweet Dreams spray, I started with lavender (because of its amazing benefits) and added other oils that also help to promote calm and sleep.
Here’s what’s in our Sweet Dream’s Spray:
- Lavender is known to reduce stress and is sleep inducing.
- Cedarwood is calming and sleep inducing, as well.
- Vetiver is a natural sedative, traditionally known as the oil of “tranquility”. (are you noticing a theme here??)
- Wild Orange is mood balancing and stress-reducing.
- Calming Blend is a blend that includes lavender, sweet marjoram, Roman chamomile, ylang ylang, sandalwood and vanilla, all of which bring about peace and calm.
** If you are interested in purchasing high- quality essential oils at a wholesale price, please email me at sarah (at) growinggranola.com for more information on my trusted brand.
How to Make Sweet Dreams Spray
In a 4-ounce atomizer spray bottle, I fill it with ⅔ full of distilled water and ⅓ full of witch hazel. The distilled water lasts longer because it is super-purified, and the witch hazel helps the oils to remain evenly dispersed throughout the mixture. If you don’t have witch hazel, no worries– just be sure to give the bottle a good shake before using it.
From there, I add the drops of essential oil:
8 drops of lavender
5 drops of Serenity
4 drops of cedarwood
4 drops of wild orange
2 drops of vetiver
This is what bedtime smells like in our house. It’s one of those little rituals that helps bring about some calm to what can otherwise be a stressful moment in our day.
And I’m all about bringing about calm to chaos.
Because when it’s all said and done and these littles turn into bigs, I hope that they remember the sweet and adorable parts of bedtime. I hope they remember the prayers and the songs and the stories and the squishes and the snuggles.
And the smells. I hope that as they go through life and encounter these smells that they will transport them back to a happy time where they knew that they were safe and loved.
And I hope they will forget that most bedtimes were chaos and me yelling things like “No. No. No. Just go sleep! I don’t care if your teeth rot right out of your head!”
Perhaps I need some calming spray, wouldn’t you say??
What are some of your favorite bedtime rituals?