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Is your child not settling at night? Sleep meditation might work…

As every parent knows, there’s nothing like getting a solid’s night sleep to help restore your mood and renew your energy. And for busy kids whose bodies are growing and whose curious minds have so much information to process and organise, it’s especially important. But let’s be honest, it’s sometimes easier said than done, which is why we think it’s so worthwhile trying sleep meditation before bedtime.

How does it work?

Designed to help them relax and drift off to sleep, bedtime meditation encourages the brain to go into the alpha state (the level of sleep where you are dozing off, but still aware of sound before deeper sleep sets in). It’s especially beneficial for kids who have anxiety or difficulty sleeping.

According to Cory Cochiolo, a hypnotherapist and author of Bedtime Meditations for Kids: Quick Calming Exercises To Help Kids Sleep, kids have an intrinsic need to feel safe and comfortable at bedtime, and the key with meditation practice is to try create that kind of environment for them.

ALSO SEE: 4 ways to get your toddler to sleep

Choosing a meditation

Bedtime meditation routines for kids often draw on their imaginations and incorporate child-friendly visualisations. Whatever meditation activity you choose, just be sure it’s suited to your child’s age. From personal experience, short, sweet and simple often works best and you’ll find that you might have to adapt it to your child’s mood.

A useful tip from Cory is to choose a voice and sounds your child likes to hear – you definitely don’t want them to be put off because the music wasn’t right for him, or he didn’t like the tone or the accent of the voice used in a guided meditation.

There’s a variety of bedtime meditation for kids online, including some that are specifically geared towards kids with anxiety or other challenges that make it hard to quieten the mind. But in the end, they’re all intended to help kids feel better and get them to sleep better.

ALSO SEE: Signs of depression, stress and anxiety in children

Introducing a guided meditation

If bedtime meditation is a new concept for your child, don’t be disheartened if he resists at first. Instead, you can let him warm up to the idea by sitting down with him at another time. One trick suggested by Cory is to ask your child to practise a meditation for the minutes corresponding to his age. Another trick she suggests is to have a guided meditation playing in the background during your usual bedtime routine so your child starts to associate the sounds with comfort and safety.

Setting up for meditation

The key with any meditation practice is creating a warm, safe and soothing environment that’s free from the normal hustle and bustle and distractions of daily family life. One of the ways you can help your child is to give him a say in his bedtime setting. Let him choose the pillows, toys, and even the colour and texture of his sheets and blankets. This is also a good time to give your child a cuddle and let him know just how much he is loved!

Here are 2 apps you can download for free to get you started:

Stop, Breathe & Think

With an emphasis on fun activities and meditations, this app is designed to help kids with focus, quiet, peaceful sleep, and processing emotions. Your little one will learn mindful breathing and the importance of checking in with himself. He’ll also win stickers for completing “missions.”

Available on Google Play Store and iTunes.

Sleep Meditations for Kids

The perfect app to incorporate into your bedtime routine, Sleep Meditations for Kids has 4 bedtime stories that are transformed into guided meditations designed to promote relaxation and contentment.

Available on Google Play Store and iTunes.

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