Is your little one having trouble falling asleep? A new study from the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine found that mindfulness can make a big impact on children’s sleep habits.
The study monitored over 100 children between the ages of eight and 11 over two years. Half the children participated in daily mindfulness and yoga practices, while the other half followed a traditional physical education curriculum. The researchers found that those practicing mindfulness experienced 74 minutes of additional total sleep time and 24 minutes of additional rapid eye movement (REM) time. Those who participated in traditional physical education courses had no change or even a decrease in total sleep.
The improved sleep was attributed to the mental and physical health benefits of mindfulness, especially the ability to identify periods of stress and address them in a healthy way.
The researchers focused on students from low-income families as these students are more likely to have disrupted sleep schedules. This research demonstrates that while it’s not always possible to change a sleep environment, certain behavioral habits can make a big difference in improving rest and overall sleep time.