Herbs To Support Better Sleep; Helping Kids Adjust To Back To School Sleep Schedules

A picture of a young girl yawning while lying in bed

As we're heading into the back to school season, we’re about to hit that total change of schedule, structure, life—call it what you want! Whether you've already started back to school season, you're a homeschooler like me, or you live where I live, where we don't start school until September, this change is inevitable.

Today, let’s delve into ways we can use herbs, alongside lifestyle tips, to support our kids (and ourselves) as we transition into this new season.


Creating the Ideal Sleep Environment


Especially in summer, my kid is up late, partying like a 10-year-old should—running, playing, going hard—and sleeping in. With the school season approaching, we need to shift this pattern. Why? Proper sleep is imperative to their physical health, emotional health, growth patterns, and brain development. Proper sleep will let them focus, pay attention to what they’re learning, and improve their mood regulation. I know I tend to get a bit cranky when I'm sleepy, and of course, our kiddos do that too.

To make this transition smooth, consider starting to adjust the bedtime and wake up time gradually. Shift by 15 minutes every few days until you find a rhythm that works. Another tip is to ensure exposure to natural light in the morning. It helps reset our internal clocks. How about a morning walk? Or opening up the windows and letting some natural light inside? Lastly, creating a calm evening environment—maybe dark and peaceful with candles—can inspire restfulness. And remember, consistency is key.


Herbs to the Rescue!


Let’s dive into the herbs that can support us through this shift.

Chamomile: The Calming Star

Chamomile, with its soothing properties, is ideal for inducing sleep. My daughter and I both love it. It’s a nervine herb—these herbs act on the nervous system, and chamomile is slightly sedating. A simple cup of chamomile tea in the evening can work wonders. Or consider chamomile-infused honey with apple slices for a delightful bedtime snack. 

Lavender: The Aromatic Relaxant

Lavender, while strongly fragrant, can induce a state of calm. Not a fan of it in your tea? Consider a sleeping pillow sachet with chamomile and hops alongside lavender. Or, for the crafty ones, consider making a new stuffed toy for your kids and stuffing it full of these herbs. A little lavender essential oil on the pillow also goes a long way for promoting sleep. 

Lemon Balm: The Gentle Soother

Lemon Balm is a mild sedative and helps reduce stress and anxiety. It’s especially good for insomnia, making it a wonderful ally for your kiddos’ sleep health.

Passionflower: The Instant Relaxer

For me, passionflower is magic—it can make me fall asleep almost instantly. Consider a tincture of its fresh leaves and flowers. Just be mindful of the tea before bed—no one wants a mid-sleep bathroom run!

California Poppy: The Peaceful Sleep Aid

California Poppy is magnificent for helping kids and adults alike to find that calm and achieve solid sleep. Use it fresh for maximum potency, in a tincture or a glycerite.

Hops: The Chill-Out Herb

While extremely bitter (think hoppy IPA), hops are renowned for their sedative effects. If your kiddos resist, this is where honey can be invaluable.


Creating Calming Rituals


Consider having herbal tea time in the evening after dinner—a mix of chamomile, lemon balm, and maybe some passionflower. Pair it with calming activities, such as meditating together, some gentle stretches or yoga, or creating herb-infused popsicles as a fun and calming dessert.

We're in the hottest days of the year here in Oregon, and the shift into the back-to-school season means ensuring that sleeping happens not at 11 PM but maybe eight, or whatever works best for your family.

Hopefully, these tips prove helpful for you, especially if your kiddos struggle with sleep or you are struggling with sleep. If you have used these herbs or have thoughts on them, I’d love to hear back from you. And if you think somebody else needs to hear this, please share, so we can make herbalism #SpreadLikeWildflowers.

Have an absolutely magnificent week!

We Love the Mission and Sustainable Herbs available through Oshala Herb Farm, WishGarden Herbs & Mountain Rose Herbs and receive a small commission when you purchase through our affiliate links. Thank you for supporting our small business, and others on a mission to make this planet a better place to live!
 *Always remember to contact your healthcare provider when considering the use of botanical medicine as a possible treatment option and the medical considerations. While the information in this article is absolutely relevant, herbs work differently for each person and each condition.
 **I am a trained herbalist and not a licensed or registered healthcare practitioner. I cannot diagnose health conditions, nor prescribe medicines legally; I am not a medical doctor. However, I will recommend or suggest medicinal herbs for various health complaints, as I do believe in the safety and efficacy of botanical medicine.
 ***The information I’ve provided is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment. Please consult your medical care provider before using herbal medicine, particularly if you have a known medical condition or if you are pregnant or nursing.

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