This post, written by Lisa Torres, was originally featured on YourTango.
You've tried everything, but your child still keeps you up at night.
The average family with a young child can easily slip into a state of chronic sleep deprivation. After a long day, you finally lie down to sleep, but only one eye shuts. You know that just minutes will pass before your innards are yanked again to alertness with a whimper or a holler.
Your baby, toddler, or child, needs you. Without thinking twice, you are in service. With each passing night, you surrender your vital recovery time to help kids sleep, gradually depleting your energy reserves.
The sleep-deprived state compromises your intellectual functioning. Your sense of time is accelerated. Your sense of urgency is increased. Meltdowns and tears are never too far from the surface. You adjust by leaving home less frequently and by corralling any support you can so you can so you can have a shower or do groceries.
Slowly, it dawns on you that you need help. How can it be such a challenge to meet both your and your child's basic needs?
Here is the little-known truth: children can express your needs for you if you do not heed them yourself. They can do this with both chronic and acute behaviour and physical symptoms.
This does not mean that all child behaviour and physical symptoms are related to life lessons for the parent. When all else fails, there is likely more to learn. But this is a little known, yet common, phenomenon that it is often overlooked when it comes to solving your kid's sleep problems.
So if you've tried everything — daily exercise, keeping natural light exposure consistent, dietary changes, and more — and your child's sleep problems aren't being resolved, then maybe your behaviour is to blame.
In order to be content and at peace, your child needs you to meet your needs, too. This includes feeling the intimacy you need to relax, recharge, and reconnect at regular intervals and especially through challenging times.
After all, much of the stability of the family home is found in the stability of the parenting couple. Unconsciously, your child knows if you are meeting each other's intimacy needs.
What can you do next?
Meet your needs! If your lack of intimacy was the root of your child's lack of sleep and button-pushing behaviour, you will notice the difference in your child's sleep or behaviour. If this was not the reason, you will not notice a change. There is nothing to lose by running your own experiment.
In your case, just maybe, as in the case described, when your needs are met, the entire home will bask in a feeling of safe warm fuzzies, allowing all to sleep more deeply and to wake rested.
If you are unable to find the time or motivation to nourish your parenting partnership, all is not lost.
Homeopaths are trained to analyse such cases to find an individualized remedy known for its safety and ability to help. A remedy known to help in similar cases is Hyoscyamus.
There are others, however, and with a professional consultation, you are placed to find the right one to provide the support needed for all to get a good night's sleep.
Alas: you are well on the journey of parenthood, complete with ups and downs, challenges and learning.
Your child prompts you to live a healthier lifestyle and to learn about things you had never considered before.
If you are open to it, your child can support you in your becoming, not only as a parent but as a person.
My wise mother said to me after the birth of my first child: "Your teacher has arrived." She was right.
As Khalil Gibran wrote in his poem On Children: "... you are the bow from which your children as living arrows are sent forth."
Allow the Archer to bend you. For you too are on the path of the infinite; you too, are in the Archer's hands.
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