Meditation is a brilliant tool for helping kids sleep. There are apps, audiobooks, and books all aimed at helping kids engage with mediation.
But first, is meditation biblically sound?
This is a big subject. And we have a tonne of other meditation-focused articles for you to read, but in short: yes! The Bible tells us to meditate on the word of God and fill ourselves up with the good news of Jesus Christ.
Lots of meditation advice and content is produced with the worldly mindset of emptying your mind. Whereas Christian mediation focuses on flooding your mind with that which is good and true, namely, the word of God!
Psalm 1: 1-4 says:
“Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither—whatever they do prospers.”
Not only does this scripture contain a clear encouragement to meditate, but it also provides a beautiful starting place. Simply breathing deeply and imagining that tree beside water with rich, green leaves is a very easy way to try mediation.
How To Introduce Your Kids To The Idea Of Meditation
Lots of kids sleep meditations have done a really good job of being approachable and easy to use, making it more likely your kids will want to give it go. Still, though, some kids can be nervous of trying anything new or, sometimes, just reluctant to even talk about their sleep issues.
One way to encourage your little ones to try sleep meditation is to suggest it during the day, completely disconnected from their bedtime routine. Explain that this is just a practice meditation and let them listen, or read, to get a feel for it.
Hopefully, come bedtime, they will then be more likely to give meditation a go.
The other way to really encourage your kids to give sleep mediation a try is to do it yourself! We really do lead by example as parents. If your children see you joyfully and readily engaging with meditation, they’re much more likely to try it themselves.
Why not incorporate a short meditation session into their usual bedtime routine, staying with them and doing it together before you leave the room?
The Expert Take On Meditation
Meditation is not a new practice; in fact, it’s ancient! Cultures and religions around the world have been using meditation for self-care, to support sleep, and to de-stress for thousands of years.
A study, quoted by Humanitas University, explored the benefits of meditation on sleep.
“A study looked at two mindfulness-based meditation programmes that assigned participants to two different groups at random. One of the groups practiced meditation, and the other didn’t.
Those who meditated fell asleep much sooner, and they slept for longer. Those who didn’t meditate did not have the same result.”
Another study, also cited by the same university, suggested a potential link between meditation and lower levels of anxiety.
“An example: participants of an eight-week mindfulness meditation study found that their anxiety had reduced as a result. They also found that they had reduced symptoms of anxiety disorders such as social anxiety, paranoia, panic attacks, and obsessive-compulsive behaviors.
In another study, 18 participants of an eight-week meditation programme were followed up three years later. The results showed that most of the volunteers carried on practicing meditation, and their anxiety levels were lower over the long term.”
Three Easy Ways To Get Started With Kids Sleep Meditation
Psalm 46 contains the famous scripture ‘Be still and know that I am God’. This is a simple and easy way to start a meditation practice with your children.
Be Still And Know Meditation
Find somewhere calm and comfortable to sit down with your little one. Try to mute any background distractions.
Introduce a simple rhythm of taking one deep breath and saying, ‘Be still and know that I am God’. Then, take another breath. Do this 5–10 times.
A guided meditation is simply a meditation that someone guides you through. This can be via a video, an app or an audiobook. Glorify has a range of meditation tools to get you started.
One of the best ways to meditate is to carve out a quiet moment and read a Bible story out loud. If your child isn’t reading yet, then you can do this together: encourage them to get comfortable and close their eyes, perhaps, while you read a Bible story out loud to them.
Try to read the story slowly, emphasising descriptive elements.
How Often Do You Need to Meditate?
Kids sleep meditation can be a learning curve. There’s a reason it’s called a meditation practice! It can take time to build up a meditation habit, especially for kids.
The good thing is that even just a few minutes of meditation a week can begin to make a huge difference to your kids joy levels and their quality of sleep.
Why not start by committing to 30 seconds of deep breathing with your child once they’re in bed? Then, after a few days, introduce a guided meditation for them to listen to.
Meditation practice is like a muscle; the more you use it, the stronger it will get. As you practice meditation with your child now, you will be equipping them to draw upon this healthy and nourishing tool throughout their adult lives too.