Meditation For Kids
Children need more sleep than adults – up to 10 to 11 hours per night. Like adults, many do not get enough hours or enjoy quality sleep. Approximately 10% of children in the U.S. struggle with sleep issues. One natural solution, with benefits that go well beyond improved sleep, is meditation.
What is Meditation for Kids?
Meditation for kids is not significantly different from adult practice. Sessions may be shorter and with a different focus, but the idea is the same: to quiet the mind, focus on the present, and relax. Guided meditation is also popular for children, as it helps to have a voice guiding them into a relaxed state.
On Relax Melodies, you’ll find guided meditations for kids with options that are shorter (five to ten minutes) than those for adults. There are different meditations available for children at Relax Melodies: an introduction to meditation, one that is focused on a fear of the dark, story-based meditations, muscle relaxations, sweet dream meditations, and meditations for Mom and Dad.
A great way to start a child on a healthy habit of meditating is to do it together. Family or parent-child meditation sessions every night pave the way for making this a daily intention. Meditation sets the tone for bedtime and relaxes everyone after a day of work, school, and other stressors.
Why Some Kids Have Trouble Sleeping
For both children and adults, one of the main reasons to start meditating is to sleep better. Adults are not the only ones who struggle with sleep disorders. For kids, a number of issues may cause less sleep or poor-quality sleep:
- Insomnia. Kids get insomnia too, often caused by stress, but also from medications, allergies, asthma, sleep apnea, or other medical conditions.
- Restless leg syndrome. As with adults, a child may have tingling sensations in the legs that disrupt sleep.
- Arousal disorders. Arousal during the night may not wake a child, but it can bring them out of deep sleep, lowering sleep quality. Some triggers include urination, sleepwalking, sleep terrors, and seizure disorders.
For some kids, difficulty sleeping results from stresses and fears. Fear of the dark, of being alone, or of wetting the bed may impact sleep. Stress during the day, from school, activities, home life, trauma, and other issues also affect sleep.
Signs your child may be struggling with poor sleep include excessive sleepiness during the day, difficulty getting out of bed, irritability, mood swings, poor performance or behavioural issues at school, increased snacking and weight gain, and getting sick more often.
Benefits of Meditation for Kids
Sleep meditation benefits both children and adults. The reasons to meditate go well beyond sleep, even for kids:
- Stress and anxiety relief. Studies of children who practice mindfulness show that regular meditation reduces anxiety and stress. This, in turn, can make sleeping easier and more restful.
- Improved attention at school. Children with ADHD benefit from regular meditation. Meditation helps them concentrate on tasks and stay focused at school. This benefit is not just for kids with ADHD, though. All children can learn better focus through meditation.
- Relief from trauma. Many children suffer the consequences of trauma, including stress, anxiety, depression, and poor sleep. Studies show that meditation helps them cope with these stressors and mitigate the adverse effects.
- Overall better mental health. All children, not just those struggling because of trauma, can benefit from improved mental health through meditation. Studies prove that regular mindfulness practice reduces anxiety, depression, and fatigue in children. It also helps them feel happier and more relaxed.
- Improved emotional and social function. Kids are constantly learning how to regulate and cope with emotions while also socializing appropriately with others. Studies of yoga and meditation have found that kids who practice these regularly develop better emotional and social skills. They learn self-awareness and self-regulation; they build greater empathy; they consider others’ perspectives; and they are able to better control their emotions.
All of these benefits of meditation help children develop healthy lifestyles, and sleep is a big part of that. With regular practice and improvements to mental and emotional health, meditation can significantly improve children’s sleep.
Guided sleep meditation for kids is a great way to boost brain health, ease stress and anxiety, and help your child have a more restful night. Check out the kids’ meditations on Relax Melodies to get started and try going through these bedtime routines together.