For many parents, getting their children to sleep at bedtime is a difficult task. Getting a good night’s sleep is important for one’s physical and mental well-being and kids need enough sleep (and rest) for their proper growth and development. If your little one is not sleeping well at night, then perhaps, you should give sleep meditation a try as it can help your little one fall asleep and sleep through the night.
What Is Sleep Meditation?
Sleep meditation is a method that helps one focus on their thoughts and let go off their worries. It requires one to focus on a particular object or the sensations in their body so that they can relax and concentrate. Such a mindset usually helps people to fall asleep as it relaxes the body and the mind. When you want to teach your child to practice sleep meditation, you need to make sure that your child’s room is dark. Ask him gently to lie down on his bed and focus on relaxing sounds or words.
For young children, there are many recordings, podcasts, and scripts that can help them to fall asleep. All of these were designed with leading the imaginative minds of little children into such a relaxed state that they drift off to sleep without too much fuss.
The sleep meditation could be something as creative as a kids’ sleep meditation story, descriptions of peaceful places, calming deep breathe series that children should follow or even very random sentences that help calm your child and cause relaxation in mind and body.
Benefits of Meditation at Bedtime for Kids
Young children need a proper night’s sleep. After all, they need to process and organize all of the information that they have learned the entire day, and practising sleep meditation before bedtime can help. Here’s how sleep meditation can benefit a child:
- Helps relieve stress, worry, and tension.
- Helps children sleep through the night.
- Calms the mind.
- Helps a child feel comfortable and secure.
- Helps children who suffer from sleep problems and anxiety.
- It is a great way to encourage self-regulation when it comes to focusing.
How to Introduce Bedtime Meditation to Kids
The key to almost any meditation is the environment. Creating an environment that makes your child feel warm, secure, and loved is very important to ensure that your child is able to practice sleep meditation properly. But what is even more important is allowing your child to have some say in what is going on. Here are some tips that you may find helpful when introducing bedtime meditation to your child:
1. Get Your Child Involved in the Set-Up
One way to get your child excited to participate in bedtime meditation is by allowing him to help set up his room. You can give the freedom to your child to choose his own plushies. Allowing your child to have a say in the texture of his blanket will go a long way as it will help him feel more comfortable and relaxed.
2. Choose the Voice Your Child Prefers
This could sometimes mean that you need to get yourself ready to be that voice, but there could be a chance that your child prefers a voice from a streamed recording. The same could be said about relaxing deep sleep music for children. Your child will be able to tell you better what kind of music he finds relaxing, so listen to him and choose what he prefers.
3. Let Your Children Choose the Soundtrack
Not only should you allow them to choose whose voice he wants to listen to, but you should give him more options. Would they prefer music, a story, or a book reading? There are different options. Ask your child what he would like and go for that.
Not every child is going to be happy about these bedtime activities. There will be days, when he will resist. However, you should persist gently. Never try to force your child or punish him to practice bedtime meditation. This will only make it an unpleasant activity and it will have the opposite effect of calming your child down. Instead, you can start off slowly by taking it only a few minutes at a time or by participating with your child. Sometimes, you can even leave a children’s guided meditation for deep sleep by playing and your child will eventually get into it.
5. Practice Gratitude
You and your child can take turns to practice gratitude. For some parents and children, it works to take turns in saying something positive about the other person. For others, getting involved in a bedtime prayer routine is very helpful. The whole point is to help your child remember and understand that he is loved and well taken care of. It will help with relieving stress.
Best Guided Sleep Meditations for Kids
Little ones have a vivid imagination, and their imaginations can be a part of their sleep meditation routine, too! Here are some ideas that you can use to help your child meditate before going to bed.
1. Mermaid in the Sea
Once you have your child settled into bed. Use a calm voice and have him imagine being a little mermaid, swimming gently in the ocean. As the little mermaid glides past corals, little fish, and other enchanting sea creatures, you can describe some of them to your child in a soothing voice. Then, guide your little mermaid under a rock to rest, watching the beautiful sea life. You know your child best, so think of your child’s favorite sea creatures and include them in the story. While narrating the story to your child, do add that all the creatures are sleepy after the day’s adventures. Each of the creatures should be settling down for the night.
2. Floating Through the Clouds
In this guided meditation, you should ask your child to imagine that his body is as light as a feather. Since he is so light, he can be lifted up by the gentle breeze. Ask him to imagine what it would feel like to float around in the sky, being carried higher and higher into the clouds. Introduce a soft fluffy cloud and ask him to think about how it feels to lie down on the soft and fluffy cloud, cosy under the warm sun.
3. The Woods of Dreams
Take your child for a walk through mystical woods with a guided meditation. Get your child to imagine the little creatures of the forest who are all returning to their homes and preparing to sleep through the night. The little bunnies in their burrows, the foxes in their dens, the squirrels making their way to their beds in the trees, and the songbirds of the day nesting down for the night. This should encourage your child to sleep too.
4. The Rocking Boat
In this guided meditation, have your child imagine that he is wrapped in a cozy and warm blanket on a little boat. You are with your child, of course, as this will add an element of safety and security for your child. The boat is moving gently and your little one is sleeping peacefully. You can play the sound of water flowing in a river in the background and use a gentle voice while talking to your child. This meditation will help your child fall asleep soon.
Tips to Practice Effective Sleep Meditation With Children
While these guided meditation techniques work well for children, having set routines can help your child fall asleep quickly. Here are some tips that will help you make sure that the sleep meditation techniques go smoothly:
1. Create a Bedtime Routine
By creating a bedtime routine, your child will eventually find himself sleepy when it’s time for bed. Before he climbs into bed, make sure he has a nice warm bath, put on clean pajamas, and brushes his teeth. Once your child is tucked in, you can start with a guided sleep mediation and then give him a goodnight kiss.
2. Avoid Any Stimulants Before Bedtime
Make sure that your child does not have any drinks or snacks that contain sugar, or even worse, caffeine, at least three hours before bed. These make it harder for them to sleep as they become more energetic after consuming them.
3. Keep Gadgets Away
Having any electronic gadgets in your child’s room can distract him when you’re trying to put him to bed. The best way to ensure that your child falls asleep, whether you are in his room or not, is by ensuring that there are no gadgets in his room.
4. Keep the Room Cosy
Everything in your child’s bedroom should promote sleep, right from the colours used in the room, materials, and lighting. The lighting should be dim, the bed and blankets soft and comfortable. The cozier your child feels the more likely your child is to fall asleep faster.
It may take a little while for you and your children to really get into this new routine, but once you do, it will be worth it. When your child sleeps peacefully, you know you will sleep better too.