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You finally get into a good sleep and workout routine, and then your kid starts waking up in the middle of the night. And then you are either too tired to wake up early to workout the next day, or you get sick from the lack of sleep. It’s rough. And we are here to give you some tips and ideas of why your child (and maybe even you) are not sleeping well throughout the night.

  1. Light exposure. Our bodies run off a circadian clock that is dictated by our daily habits and the amount (and type) of light that gets into our eyes. When we don’t get enough sunlight in our eyes morning after morning, the hormone that is supposed to help wake us up (cortisol), will not rise as much as needed. And when we are exposed to too much blue/artificial light in the evenings (after sun down or 2 hours prior to going to bed), then our sleepy hormone (melatonin), will not increase as it needs to, and instead cortisol will rise, keeping us awake, or causing us to wake in the middle of the night. 

So what can you do? Do your best to get your kiddo lots of light first thing in the morning, or at least any time you can get outside during the day is great. The sun’s rays communicate appropriately with our circadian clocks, so even watching the sunset is great! We even have orange tinted blue light blocking glasses for the whole family, dim our lights down in the evening, leave all the bright lights off and use our Casper or Bon Charge lights to brush teeth and go potty. Other lights like red/infrared lights, salt lamps, and fire/candle light all help too! And then prioritize playing or going on a walk outside each day at some point. Even in the winter, bundle up and go get that sun exposure, you will feel much better for it.

  1. Nutrient deficiency. If your kid is waking up multiple times, or having nightmares, this is a sign that at least one if not multiple nutrients are depleted. They could be depleted from not eating enough of certain whole foods (think fruit, veggies, protein and fat), or it could be that the gut or gallbladder aren’t functioning properly to digest and absorb the nutrients, OR it could be from an infection or medication that is depleting you. The first ones I look at are magnesium glycinate, D3, amino acids (from animal products), and omega-3’s. Then from there, you can try a multivitamin (like Perfect Foods desiccated liver), and even try our favorite calming mix from Just Ingredients that has Magnesium glycinate, Inositol, Tart Cherry, and L-Theanine. I do half a scoop in water (with any other droppers I want) and give it to my son with and after dinner. From there we check to see if parasites (or any other toxin like mold or EMF) are an issue, as those can suppress the calming neurotransmitters. If you want to learn more on those, visit Dr. Charlie’s page.
  1. Blood sugar imbalance. This could be from a lack of fats and proteins and/or too many carbs, OR too much stress. Too much stress causes cortisol to spike, and then our blood sugar to be released, and then that causes that blood sugar rollercoaster. Then also, if your blood sugar is off in general (aka your child is metabolically INflexible and used to just using carbs for fuel), your kid’s blood sugar can get too low, and their body will increase cortisol and wake them up to get more carbs for fuel.  If your child has to pee a lot, that could be from insulin issues as well. 

So what can you do? Add in more fats and proteins to your kid’s foods. Check out our Kid’s Lunch and Snack Ideas list for all our ideas, yet our faves include Chomps Beef Sticks, Chicken Mates sticks, pork rinds, salami, eggs, bacon, and any meat/fish your child likes. The key for us to keep sugar low is to keep it out of the house, or find better alternatives that have less sugar, and some protein or fiber added – for some treat ideas, our faves are RxBars, Smart Sweets, or making a smoothie or yogurt with our fave dairy sensitive protein powder (Dr. Amy Myer’s Paleo Protein) in there. And if you think your kid has too much stress, consider doing less, spending more quiet time with your kids, and see if that helps. Maybe your kid is in an extra activity and it’s too stimulating. Or oftentimes we are stressed and dysregulated ourselves, and then our energy feeds into theirs. Hiring a coach or therapist to walk you through some strategies and unload and process your pain and stress is key if you find yourself constantly dysregulated with your child.

  1. Gut issues. This can be a number of things from decreased serotonin, increase in estrogen, to a poor functioning bladder, gallbladder or gut in general. Improving the quality of our food, decreasing stress/promoting relaxation throughout the day, and removing toxic chemicals can all be great places to start. And if you didn’t know, Serotonin helps produce melatonin (to help us sleep), and if our serotonin levels are impaired, it’s often from gut imbalances or dysbiosis (vegan diets can cause depletion of serotonin too). Also, if you have negative gut symptoms, there is likely too much histamine in there. And if you have a histamine issue, reducing histamine-rich foods can help while you help the gut heal in the meantime. And as we talk about a lot, stress causes gut inflammation and vice versa, so reducing stress by working on our own personal development and stress management is of course always going to help.
  1. EMF’s – electromagnetic frequencies (wifi/5G). These will decrease B6 which decreases glutathione, which then causes more inflammation and decreases melatonin production. If you or your kid is someone who feels refreshed when you go to the beach or camping (both further from EMF’s and grounding), then EMF’s may be affecting you more than we’d like! What you can do is turn any an all wifi off before and during your sleep. The easiest is to turn your phone onto airplane mode, and then to either unplug your router, and/or look into EMF protecting technologies such as Airestech, SafeSleeve, and Waveblock. And then lastly, and most importantly, get outside as much as you can, away from all the technology, and get everyone’s feet in the ground!

Then of course, check your kid’s stress levels, if they have any methylation issues (genetic snips/disorders to see if they need any specific nutrients), and if they are getting properly hydrated with quality water and electrolytes.

Know too, that with younger kids, there will be sleep challenges. And for those seasons, we are here for you, we know it’s tough! Hang in there and reach out if you need support. We are big fans of getting your own sleep in first and foremost above all else, so you have full permission to sleep in or take a nap if you have the chance. It’s OK if you skip a workout or have a month of less movement. It’s OK if your house is a bit more cluttered. It’s OK to ask for help, and to do less in these challenging times. 

Let us know if this helped you or if you have any questions! Email us at, or reach out on Instagram,!

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