When children have an especially stressful day at school or sports practice, they often come home exhausted and grumpy with no energy left to do their homework or play with friends and family. To help your child relax and get ready for bedtime, try practicing some of these bedtime meditation techniques for kids before it’s time to go to sleep.
These meditations have been proven to help children fall asleep more quickly and wake up feeling refreshed and energized in the morning!
Meditation for Sleep for Kids
Teaching your child to meditate can help them develop discipline, confidence, and an overall better ability to handle stress in their lives. But one of the most useful benefits is improved sleep.
Guided meditation has been shown to improve a variety of sleep issues, including insomnia, restless leg syndrome, and sleep apnea; you can use meditation as part of your bedtime routine or as a way to relax in response to a stressful day.
What Sleep Meditation for Kids Looks Like
Children aren’t born knowing how to fall asleep, so it makes sense that they’ll need a little bit of help learning how to do so. For most children, deep sleep comes after bedtime meditation.
A study conducted by researchers at UVA School of Medicine in Charlottesville found that kids ages 6–12 who meditated before bed improved their time sleeping by 35 minutes more than kids who didn’t meditate before bed.
The focus of your child’s meditation will depend on what works best for them, but here are some suggestions you can use as guidelines:
With guided visualizations and soothing music, a professional mp3 can be used each night until your child falls asleep (and maybe even find new ways to fall asleep faster!)
How do children do guided meditation?
It is important to note that even though you will be teaching your child how to do meditation, it is not easy. It requires a parent who is willing to lead by example so their children can follow them. Let’s take a look at some of these steps:
1. Set Up The Right Environment:
When choosing what setting you want your child to use when they are doing meditation, make sure it’s quiet and private (this means no distractions such as television or radio).
2. Choose A Time To Do Meditation For Children That Works For Your Schedule:
After deciding on what time would work best for guided meditation, you need to establish guidelines on how long and if there would be a set amount of days in which you allow your child to do a guided meditation.
3. Spend Some Time With Them Beforehand Showing Them How To Meditate:
Even though we all think our kids know how to listen to us, especially when we are telling them things like eating vegetables and brushing their teeth, you may be surprised just how much they don’t understand our words.
How to Teach Your Child a Mindfulness Practice
Your child’s ability to focus is directly tied to their ability to sleep well. Teaching your child mindfulness (or meditation) will help them develop their ability to remain present, which in turn can help them combat fatigue and be better prepared for tomorrow’s challenges.
Some methods work better than others, depending on age, maturity level, and personality type. So experiment with different techniques until you find one that works best for your child.
[Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally.]
Start by laying down some ground guidelines around relaxation time. Make it clear that it’s not time to do homework or watch TV – just calm time so they can unwind after an active day and prepare themselves for bed or their next morning activity without distraction.
Then try a few of these suggestions:
Focus on breathing.
Suggest that your child breathe slowly and deeply while lying flat on his back or sitting comfortably cross-legged. Tell them to imagine inhaling fresh air into their body as they breathe in deeply through their nose, then exhaling all the air out through the mouth.
Pay attention to thoughts.
After focusing on their breath for a minute or two, encourage kids to notice any thoughts that might pop up in their mind, but rather than following them like ripples in water, suggest he simply observe them come and go without giving them further attention.
Ask your child what good things happened today, and why they were good at doing.
Why Some Kids Have Trouble Sleeping
It may be surprising to learn that not all kids sleep well. Here’s a look at why some children are having trouble sleeping and what you can do about it. Are they too tired?
There is no shame in admitting your child is simply overtired. Perhaps they’ve had more than enough screen time during their day or maybe they’re struggling with anxiety because of something going on in their life.
If your child is used to going to bed later than usual but suddenly wants to go earlier, try shifting back an hour or two each night until they hit their regular bedtime again.
Can’t find solutions?
Ask them what’s bothering them. Some kids are surprisingly articulate when it comes to explaining how they feel.
Even if they don’t know exactly why they’re feeling anxious, talking out their feelings might help calm them down enough to fall asleep. Be sure to give lots of hugs and reassurance along with your help!
Some Tips for Peaceful Sleep Meditation
Children often have issues falling asleep at night, finding themselves tossing and turning in bed for longer than they’d like. If your child is having trouble drifting off to sleep peacefully, consider encouraging them to practice some sort of sleep meditation.
Kids’ meditation can be just as beneficial as it is for adults – especially when it comes to getting a good night’s rest.
When preparing your child for bed, sit down with them (this works best if you do it together) and brainstorm a list of possible topics or guided images that could help set their minds at ease before going to sleep each night.
Allow your child to choose a topic or picture from their list that appeals most to them, then guide them through a simple mediation technique using these guidelines:
1. Make sure there are no distractions; turn off any noises from electronics, etc., so your kid has nothing pulling out of their state of mind.
2. Explain what you’re about to do as simply as possible; explain what meditating means and how important it is for stress relief and helping people fall asleep
3. Take a deep breath yourself first to demonstrate, inhaling slowly for five seconds and exhaling slowly for another five seconds
4. Begin counting one-to-ten slowly as you do deep breathing with your eyes closed, again demonstrating.
5. Encourage your child to follow along until he/she finds their own pace.
6. Have fun; make it an enjoyable experience by making up silly rhyming chants while counting.
7. Continue until they reach a state of peace and tranquility where they feel comfortable letting go.
8. You should wait until your child becomes fully relaxed before removing your hands or stopping.
9. Keep doing it every day, but never force them – only let them do it if they want to.
10. Don’t let anyone else interrupt their peaceful moment.
11. Stay positive; try not to say anything negative during their time of relaxation
12. Help create a relaxing environment by dimming lights, shutting blinds and keeping outside noise low
13. Some children may need some gentle encouragement to get started, others might already know what to do
14. Always praise your child for being brave enough to take part
15. Give them lots of love and support!
Now that we know how wonderful quiet moments are for putting ourselves into a deep trancelike state, let’s look at a few ways meditation practices benefit us even further beyond our mental health or ability to achieve inner peace—and improve our physical well-being as well!
What are the Benefits of a mindfulness meditation practice for kids?
If a mindfulness meditation practice is started when kids are young, then kids will reap many benefits as they grow up.
They’ll be able to develop self-awareness, emotional stability, an enhanced ability to handle stress, greater attention span, and better interpersonal relationships.
These skills that are developed by a child through practicing meditations will help them grow into confident, happy adults who can deal with life’s challenges.
Additionally, children and teenagers who regularly meditate sleep well, have improved memory recall and lower anxiety levels compared to their peers.
A simple way to get your child or teenager into meditation is bedtime meditation. Meditating before bed helps children get into a relaxed state of mind before they go to bed which aids in getting quality restful sleep.
The mindfulness process used in bedtime mediation sessions allows your child’s mind and body time to relax after being active during the day. It also helps them wind down so they can begin preparing themselves physically and mentally for sleep.
Bedtime (or nap time) meditation is a great way to teach kids how to quiet their minds. Some children find it easier to fall asleep when their mind isn’t racing with thoughts, worries, or daydreams.
By introducing guided meditations for kids at bedtime you can help them be mindful of their breathing, slow down their thoughts, and relax into sleep.
It’s important to teach our children about healthy sleep habits that can last a lifetime. It can be difficult, however, to get them to unwind enough in order to get restful sleep each night.
Bedtime meditation for kids is a wonderful way to teach them relaxation techniques that will benefit them long-term, as well as help them drift off into pleasant dreams.