When a child is sick his mental condition is expressed through his cry and in a similar way the brain and nerve condition through his sleep. Thus the sleep of a child helps us to a great extent in the selection of the correct remedy. Besides too deep and too long sleep creates as much anxiety to the parents as a too short sleep causes troubles to them Even a restless sleep of a kid becomes so vexatious at times that the parents find it necessary to consult a physician. Hence I believe many parents would be interested to know how these cases are tackled homoeopathically. Here are some useful hints for them:.
Sleeplessness. Coffee and chamomilla are the principal remedies for sleeplessness of children. Both have mental irritability and both are useful during dentition. Green diarrhoea; one cheek red and hot while the other pale and cold; and relief from carrying the child to and fro are the characteristics of Chamomilla while skin affections and sleeplessness from itching skin determine the choice of Coffea.
Cypripedium: an excellent medicine for sleeplessness of nervous children. The child is jovial during the day but cries at night; does not like to go to bed and would prefer to play about (crying at night-Jalapa).
Hyoscyamus: Sleeplessness without having any apparent causes; twitching and even jerking of limbs during sleep or preventing sleep. The child cannot sleep as on the approach of sleep he becomes frightened and starts up. The child is also unreasonable in his behaviour.
Staphysagria: Sleep during the day, wakeful at night (Sulph.). Recurring styes, black and crumbling teeth, and eczema on head with intense itching are some of its guiding symptoms.
Kreosote: Sleeplessness in conjunction with crying and whining at night during painful dentition. Teeth begin to decay as soon as they appear.
Restless Sleep: Cina, Lycopodium. Opium, Pulsatilla, Rhus-tox, Silicea and Sulphur. (Some of these medicines have already been described under “Infants” Cry” in May, 1949 Herald and the others will be cited later).
Sleepiness (deep, long and profound):.
Gelsemium: Its guiding symptoms are dullness, drowsiness and dizziness. It is useful in fever, cold and summer complaints of children. It has not thirst.
Antimonium Crudum: The child is very sleepy. Sleepiness associated with indigestion, either from over-eating or during summer. A thick milky-white coating over the whole tongue determines the use of this drug. The child does not like to be talked to or even to be looked at.
Antimonium Tartaricum: It has all the symptoms of Antim Crud. but in a milder form; the sleep is not so deep, the white coating is not so thick, nor spread all over the tongue. Antim-crud, kid is usually constipated while one requiring antim-tart has a tendency to diarrhoea. In addition Tartaricum may have a rattling cough with other pulmonary complications.
Opium: This well-known hypnotic drug has the most profound and stupid sleep which may be associated with either diarrhoea or constipation. It is also useful in summer complaints of children.
Cuprum Metallicum: Profound sleep with shocks in body. It has a very peculiar symptoms-there is a constant rumbling in his abdomen as long as the child sleeps.
Nux Moschata: Great drowsiness and profound sleep, always with a dry skin. The child requiring this medicine rarely perspires. Sleepiness associated with summer diarrhoea and flatulence. mouth excessively dry the child has no desire for water.
Belladonna: Sleepy but cannot sleep (Cham., Gels., Op.). Night- Terrors.
Kali Bromide: In the absence of indications for any other drug it can be used in repeated doses with benefit (Kali-phos).
Cina: Grinding of teeth in sleep or any other worm symptoms will determine the application of this drug. It has canine hunger, picking of nose and desire for sweets.
Borax: The child starts up from sleep in terror and cries frightfully. Fear of falling down from downward motion-is a characteristic and constant symptoms of this drug. Useful in aphthae and diarrhoea of children.
Calcarea Carb: When he is sleepy the child becomes nervous and scared. It acts well in sort, over-fat, fair, chilly and lethargic children.
Graphites: This drug has all sorts of frightful, horrible, anxious and vexatious dreams. Oozing of a honey-like sticky fluid from eczema or other skin eruptions will lead to its selection. Remember also “Fat, fair and flabby” subject.
Lycopodium: The child starts up in bed from dream of some accident. On awaking he is cross, and scolds and kicks the mother. Constipation, excessive flatulence, red sediment in urine and aggravation of all complaints between 4 and 8 p.m. are some of its leading features.
Natrum Muriaticum: This drug is also full of sleep symptoms. It has frightful dreams of thieves; vivid, anxious dreams, talking and weeping in sleep; sleepiness with frequent yawning during the day. The guiding features of this drug are-progressive emaciation, more marked about the neck, inspite of good appetite and good nourishment; constipation excessive thirst and desire for salt or salty foods.
Pulsatilla: The child is afraid of dark and of being left alone. He is sure to get night-mare if he mother speaks of “terrors” to sent the child to bed. Absence of thirst inspite of the mouth being dry will help in its selection.
Carbo Vegetabilis: The nightmare under this drug is so violent that the child fears to go to bed, more particularly if there is no light. It is useful in diarrhoea in conjunction with flatulence.
Sulphur: This drug has nightmare but the symptoms determining its choice should be drowsy during the day and very wakeful at night. Does not keep the feet covered.
Arsenicum Album: The child sleeps with the hands over the head. Twitching and jerking of upper limbs on falling asleep. Suitable for nervous children with skin diseases.
Arum Triphyllum: The child bores the head into the pillow. Constant picking of nose and lips until they bleed is a sure indication of this drug.
Medorrhinum: The child sleeps with the legs drawn up to the abdomen and pressing the face into the pillow as if bowing down. What-so-ever may be the name of the diseases Medor can be prescribed if this symptom is present and success can be anticipated.
Colocynth: Medorrhinum child lies on his face but the Colocynth kid lies on his back.
The legs are drawn over the abdomen in both these medicines. cina and Muriatic acid kids are also found sleeping in this position.
Pulsatilla: The child sleeps with the hands up above the head. Although this symptom is not constant with Puls. nevertheless it is a very reliable indication when present.
For lying on abdomen think of Bell., Coloc., Stram. Concomitants.
Aethusa: Vomiting of curdled milk is the chief characteristic of this remedy. Every time he vomits the child falls asleep from the ensuing weakness. He wakes up hungry and wants to suck again.
Calcarea Carb: Profuse perspiration during sleep. The sweat is most prominent on the occiput wetting the pillow far around (perspiration more marked on forehead Sulph.).
Caladium: Fever only when the child sleeps (Op., Samb.) or the child falls asleep in the evening when the fever comes and wakes only when it is off.
Cina: It is always worthwhile to consider the suitability of this medicine on seeing a child yawning repeatedly and picking the nose constantly.
Conium: Perspiration during sleep (Thuja) or even as soon as the child closes the eyes to sleep.
Opium: This medicine has many sleep symptoms. It is as useful in sleeplessness as in heavy and stupid sleep. Sleepy but cannot sleep and restless sleep are also found in this drug. Stertorous breathing during sleep; sleep with eyes half-closed; hot perspiration over the whole body during sleep are some of its leading features.
Lachesis: This ophidia is well known for its sleep into aggravation. It can be used with success in many complaints if this “leader” is present.
Causticum: The child is afraid of sleeping in the dark and can sleep only when there is a light in the room. To pass stools the child has to stand up is another peculiarity of this drug.
Sambucus: This medicine is not so frequently used as its symptoms demand. It is full of sleep symptoms so commonly found in children. (i) Cough with suffocation awakens the child (Lach.), he sits up and gasps for breath. After sometime the attack passes off and he sleeps again to have another similar attack and so on; every time he sleeps he awakens nearly suffocated. (ii) Perspires copiously all the time but the skin is dry while asleep. (iii) Heat during sleep (Calad).
Sulphur: The child cannot keep the feet covered during sleep, throws off the covering. (ii) Perspiration over the forehead during sleep. (iii) Sleeplessness in the evening when he likes to play, sleeps late at night and wakes up into a fit of laughter.
Thuja: The skin is dry during waking hours and perspires when the child sleeps.