Sleep is a big issue for them. Nightmare plague them often.
We've tried worry dolls, dream catchers, soothing music, herbal teas, counseling, meditation and yoga prior to bedtime, and a host of other things. Some help, some not so much.
So, we thought we'd try something new.
After our trip to Pantheacon this year, the kids were fascinated with the idea of magic and creating magical spells of their own. So, we devised a "medicine bag" filled with herbs, stones, and charms to help them rest.
Irregardless of whether you believe in magic, the placebo effect is at least very well documented in scientific study. So, we are not concerned about whether it is magic or placebo that helps them, only if it helps them.
We discussed this with them as we figured out what would go into the bags. We talked about how magic works only if you believe in it. Then we talked about the placebo affect and science. They were already aware of the placebo affect, we've spoken of it before, and our 7 year old declared that he didn't care how it worked, as long as it worked.
Okay, so there you go. Let's do this thing. Here are some of the ingredients we had to pick and choose from:
- Lavender for sleep - we had this in our garden, both English and French
- Mugwort for peaceful dreams - we found this in a park in town and asked permission to pick some
- Jasmine for peaceful dreams - We had this in a loose tea form in our massive tea collection.
- Magnolia for peace - A house across the street from the park had a Magnolia tree. So, we knocked on the door and asked if we could collect from what was on the ground already. They looked at us strangely but said it was fine.
- Valerian for sleep and peace - Also found in our tea collection.
- Vervain for peace and protection - We grow this in our garden.
- Hops - Traditionally used for sleep. They give off a nice aroma and we have some leftover from brewing.
- Violet for peace and sleep - Our shade violets were just starting to pop up but we didn't have any flowers yet. We put this one aside and told the kids we could always add it in later.
- Smokey quartz - To block nightmares
- Quartz - To protect the sleeper
- Amethyst - To block nightmares and increase positive dreams.
- Black Tourmaline - To let go of the subconscious fears and nightmares.
- A piece of silver - We used silver beads.
- A piece of cloth to put your ingredients in.
- A piece of string to tie it with. Red, silver or gold is preferred.
The kids chose what ingredients they wanted to put in based on their attributes and then we tied them up with the string. We chose red because it is typically used in binding. Since we felt we were binding the bad dreams, we used that.
Then they put the bags under their mattresses near where their heads lay at night.
The next morning they reported no bad dreams, only good ones.
We reminded them that the magic only continues to work if they continue to believe in it and that sometimes bad dreams are more powerful than our magic, so they will happen anyway but not as often. Those are the times we should talk about the dreams together or with the counselor.
It remains to be seen if this trend continues but they seemed so well rested and well-behaved all day long, we were happy to see that it helped.