While I was moaning about the everlasting insomniac saga of my darling 6yr old on Twitter the other night, a friend recommended Montmorency cherries. I googled, I read, I mainly got a little too excited that this might be the answer to my/our problems.
Great, I thought but I know that generally, natural remedies take a while to get into the system so wasn't expecting a full nights sleep straight away but my friend told me that her daughter was sleeping soundly on the first night of having the juice so I went shopping the next day.
I went to Holland and Barratt and bought some of this Cherry Active juice. First of all I had to get past the sales assistant from hell. Normally when I go in there, they will try to sell me everything, including their magazines but today, when I asked if they sold Cherry Active, I was told that they did. When I asked her about giving it to children, she told me that I shouldn't and that they didn't recommend any of their remedies for children.
A slightly panicked Nic asked 'What, none of the things in your shop?' thinking about all of the potions and things that J and L have had over the years.
'Yes, nothing except for our multi-vitimin range, designed especially for children,' she replied. I stood for a few minutes, having a moral dilemma; how much did I want my daughter to sleep/how much did I worry that this bottle of pure cherry juice was going to do my daughter damage/how much did I believe the sales assistant?
I came to the conclusion that since the ingredients consisted of black cherry juice, nothing else, the worst it would do was give her a dodgy tummy for a few hours and I could live with that. It would replace the couple of hours of banshee screaming we have had every night. The more I stood there and listened to the sales assistant discuss her love-life in graphic detail with the other sales assistant, the less I trusted her and the more I went with my instincts. Cue dagger looks, on your head be it if you give it to your child sighs and general disapprovement as I bought it.
I, very tentatively, gave Lou 20ml of the syrup in a glass of water on Thursday night before bed. She didn't sleep straight away but she did stay in her bed, quietly, until she fell asleep then stayed asleep all night. When she woke up in the morning, she was a changed girl. She emptied the dish washer when she came downstairs because she 'wanted to help' and was so well behaved all day.
The change in behaviour is amazing and has continued. I think she is sleeping more soundly throughout the night, rather than the cat-napping that was happening so she is waking up a lot happier in the mornings.
Looking at all of the benefits of the miracle juice, I think I might have to start taking some too ;)