Sleep is crucial to our wellbeing. Think how you feel if you don’t get enough sleep! Cranky, short tempered, low on energy? Your children are no different.
That’s why we’re sharing our top tips, cantered around mindfulness practices, with you today!
A lack of sleep can really disrupt routines, feed into behaviours, and create challenges for parenting. Getting a good night’s sleep is vital to your children’s development, and helps them focus on the activities at nursery, pre-school or school.
So how can we help them on their journey to the land of nod?
Ditch the focus on sleep. This sounds counter-productive, but we promise it’ll help. So often as parents, our routine chat goes something like this: “Pyjamas, teeth, story, bed, AND sleep,” with a big emphasis on the word sleep. Don’t you find the more you think about sleeping, the less you sleep?! Kids are no different. We need to reach a state of rest first. Mindfulness practice focuses on the now, not the future, so focus on helping them rest, before you bring their attention to sleep. Imagine gently nudging them towards sleep, rather than shouting: “Sleep now!” in their ears. ⬇️
Set your intention on this restful state before you leave. Your household routines will all differ, some of you will read, bath, or sing. Some of you might be using Wee Seeds’ Sleep Meditations already. Whatever it is, set your goal on bringing your child to this state of rest before you leave. The younger they are, the more you will have to model this for them. This might mean a lovely cuddle, helping to release feel-good hormones, like oxytocin and dopamine. You can do this while reading or chatting about their day. It might mean lowering the lights while you snuggle up and read a story. Whatever it is, investing the time in rest, before you make your exit, will help them understand it’s not a ‘fight’ to sleep ⬇️
Help them to pay attention to their body. Rather than ‘fighting’ to go to sleep, we can learn to slip into sleep. Bringing their attention to the body is a benefit, rather than a block to sleep. In mindfulness, we find our bodies often know the answers our minds don’t. At Wee Seeds, we have three guided meditations to help your child do this. But essentially, you’re focussing on their ‘tired legs’, their ‘sleepy eyes’. Bringing their attention to their breath can help them start to slow down and activate their sleep systems. You can try your own guided meditations or use ours. Either way, focus on bringing their attention to resting, aiming for a slow drift off to sleep, rather than an expectation that sleep will come, or worse, a ‘fight’ with their minds. Let their bodies know it’s time for rest.
We want to help you feel more in control of your child’s bedtime routine and bring a sense of calm and rest to sleep time. Modern life can take its toll on family life, perhaps making bedtime a rush, or a chore. Spending a little extra time will help them enormously - and bring you closer together in the process.
Rest well – but before you sleep, make sure to follow us on Instagram or Facebook for more hints and tips.
You can find all our sleep sessions in our Calm Spaces course and supporting Wellbeing Toolbox - we've beautiful sleep meditations, especially designed for little ones, as well as all our breathing, and wellbeing exercises.