Mindfulness Class Adds Quality Sleep to Your Child’s Nights
written by/ August 4, 2021
Teaching mindfulness techniques to elementary schoolchildren is remarkably beneficial for their sleep quality, according to a two-year-long study.
The study examined 115 children from different socio-economic backgrounds between the ages of eight and 11. The participants received mindfulness curriculum classes twice a week. These included stress-identifying and practical coping mechanisms such as paced breathing.
During the duration of the study, the children gained an average of 74 minutes of sleep time per day and a solid 24 extra minutes of rapid eye movement or REM sleep. It’s important to note that REM sleep is one of the most crucial stages of sleep for consolidating memories and maintaining focus.
That said, the results weren’t instantaneous — the first signs of improvement appeared after three months of children being exposed to the curriculum. Another success factor was the childrens’ willingness to using what they learned outside of class.
Aside from improving their sleep, teaching mindfulness to children also increased their awareness of environmental stressors — a skill essential for reducing stress and improving sleep quality.
In short, children need to be educated about tools that can help them avoid poor sleep quality that can impede every aspect of their development. Solely investing in high-quality crib mattresses and good bedding is simply not enough.
Children within the seven to 12 age bracket need at least 10 hours of sleep to develop their cognitive, emotional, and psychosocial skills. But the results from another study show a worrying trend. Namely, less than half (48%) of American school kids get nine hours of sleep per night.
These alarming figures only serve to underscore the importance of the latest mindfulness training study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. Its impressive results fuel hopes that children’s sleep deprivation stats in the US can be improved. In addition, these results also show that there are alternatives to searching for a child-friendly OTC sleep aid.