Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Guided Meditations for Sleep

I couldn't decide what to title this entry. Maybe something like, "Suck it, Bedtime", or "Go the F$*%" to Sleep", or "How much Benadryl is too much for kids?"

See in the not so recent past I dreaded putting my kids to sleep. I would go into it thinking about all the things I could be getting done if I didn't have to be there with them until they fell asleep.
We coslept for a long time and it worked for us until it didn't. Then we got bunk beds for the kids and they love them, but they still like having someone there until they fall asleep, and I'm okay with that for now. 

It's cute, until it's 11 pm and they've been at it for hours. 

So one night when I was laying in the dark repeating, "Ok, it's quiet time now, no playing, go to sleep" for about the sixtieth time while they giggled and rolled and shifted and whined, I remembered being pregnant with Sofia and suffering from insomnia and finally looking up meditations on You Tube to help my wandering mind focus and sleep. 

I searched for guided meditations for kids and chose one at random, entitled "Hot Air Balloon Ride: A Guided Meditation for Kids, Children's Visualization for Sleep." I started the video and put my phone face down beside me. Both kids became quite while they listened. They were both asleep before the 14 minute and 48 second video was over. It was amazing. We tried it again the next night and the same thing happened. Sofia, being less than 2 at the time, would take longer to settle since she didn't really follow along with the story as easily as Diego did, but I could definitely notice the difference in how long it took her to physically settle down.

It's been months now and the kids actually look forward to and ask for meditations at night, and Sofia will ask for them at naps too now. Diego's nightmares have all but disappeared. I realized if I set a goal to meditate for 15 minutes a day it would likely never happen, now it does. The kids respond so much now to the music and the voice of our favorite videos that it calms them as soon as it starts to play. It has really changed the way we do bedtime, and helped me enjoy that time with them before the day ends, instead of resenting it.

There are tons of meditations available, but our favorites by far are those by Jason Stephenson.
 The Hot Air Balloon is still a favorite, as are the Fairy & Leprechaun, and the Space Adventure. We have also moved outside of just the Children's meditations, and will sometimes do longer meditations for sleep, or as Diego explains them, "The ones that don't just tell the story, but tell me how to make my body fall asleep."

This is the one that started it all for us: Hot Air Balloon Ride: A Guided Meditation for Kids

There is a playlist of more meditations, including ones by Jason here: Sleep Ezy Tonight on You Tube

You can download a few here if you would rather burn them to CD or play them off a different device: Relax Me Online

For those who use Pinterest, there are many videos linked here as well: Relax Me on Pinterest

I hope you find the same success we have had with this. If you do, feel free to leave a comment about how it has worked for you, I love hearing them.