Stalling going to bed and resisting staying in bed are among the most prevalent difficulties reported by parents of children ages 2 to 7. Up to 75% of young children have periods of not sleeping well and it’s estimated that as many as 25% of pre-school children have significant and persistent problems with sleep. While a consistent bedtime routine is helpful to ease your child to bed, it often is not enough to quiet their minds so that they will stay in their bed and truly reap the benefits of a good night’s sleep.
Preparing to go to sleep can be stressful for young children. When children are experiencing a state of stress, regardless of whether it is a fear of the dark or a stressful experience during the day, their brains elicit a stress response. While in this state they are typically not receptive to verbal communication — you cannot reason with them. There is, however, a strategy that works to calm the mind so they can go to sleep. The Smart Dreamzzz™ CDs elicit a relaxation response, a state of restfulness that is the opposite of the stress response that many young children elicit around bedtime.
While the stress response floods the body with chemicals that excite the nervous system, the relaxation response brings their system back into balance and allows them to drift off to sleep. Loosely based on meditation practices, the Smart Dreamzzz™ technique is a relaxation process used to induce complete physical, mental and emotional relaxation. The tracks on the CD have been created to be developmentally appropriate for young children, specifically designed to capture their interests while helping them relax and fall asleep. In addition, feelings of empowerment and self-esteem flourish as they learn the life-long skills of stress-management.
Brain scans show that meditation shifts activity in the prefrontal cortex from the right hemisphere to the left. People who have a negative disposition tend to be right-prefrontal oriented; left-prefrontals have more enthusiasms, more interests, relax more, and tend to be happier.
The Sleep Issue
Nighttime fears and sleep difficulties are a normal part of development. The toddlers’ drive for independence and an increase in their motor, cognitive and social abilities can interfere with sleep. In addition, their ability to get out of bed, separation anxiety, and the need for autonomy make it difficult for them to stay in their own bed. Preschoolers and young elementary age children also struggle with falling asleep and waking up during the night. With further development of imagination, young children commonly experience nighttime fears and nightmares. In addition, sleepwalking and sleep terrors peak during preschool years.
If you’ve ever suffered a bout of insomnia then you know that it can be a very frustrating experience to try to fall asleep when your mind is not ready. This frustration is not only aggravating, but it also keeps us awake even longer. Going to sleep involves a series of processes that are potentially stressful, particularly to a young child. As children’s imaginations develop they begin to realize that there are things that exist that can hurt them. Often times children’s fears are the result of a frightening experience during the day or exposure to a violent image or experience, ranging from being barked at by a dog to seeing something disturbing on the news.
Parental anxiety can also play a role, and in today’s economic climate children are experiencing unprecedented levels of stress. Anything that makes a child more emotionally aroused is going to make nighttime fears worse and make them feel more anxious about going to bed. Some children learn that saying they are afraid is an effective stalling tactic or a way to avoid bedtime. The bottom line is that most young children are exposed to something during the day that puts their mind in an aroused state that makes it very difficult for them to unwind and go to sleep. Smart Dreamzzz™ can help.
Smart Dreamzzz™ technique helps children stay in their beds and go to sleep. In addition, the benefits of simple meditation to elicit the relaxation response include:
- Increased self-management skills and feelings of empowerment
- Improvements in concentration, attention, memory, language processing, creativity, and problem-solving
- Improvements in focus and performance
- Increased happiness and peace of mind
- Improvements in work habits, cooperation, attendance and increased GPA
- Improvements in behavior, self-esteem, and relationship quality
- Improvements in ADHD symptoms
Children and Sleep:
- 76% of parents would like to change something about the way their children sleep
- Young children commonly resist going to bed and falling asleep
- In addition to the developmental issues that make it difficult for young children to go to sleep, young children today are experiencing unprecedented levels of stress that make it difficult for them to unwind at night.
- Lack of healthy sleep has been linked to diagnoses such as ADHD and other learning disabilities.