Getting children to settle down at bedtime can be challenging, but taking a mindful approach can help them to unwind after a busy day.
We’ve teamed up with our sister website MadeForMums to produce Sleepy Time: a new sleep meditation podcast for kids.
Psychologist and yoga teacher Suzy Reading has created a series of exercises and meditations aimed at children aged between two and eight to give them the tools they need to build positive sleeping habits.
The episodes are narrated by Gemma David of The Quiet Heart, who has the perfect voice to help your little ones relax and get ready for sleep.
Episode 1 – Settling down for sleep for two to five year olds
After a busy day, it can be difficult for children to settle down and get ready for sleep. In the first of our series, we’ve put together some simple exercises to help your little ones unwind as part of their bedtime routine.
Younger children may need some extra help from a grown-up to help them follow the routine.
Episode 2 – Getting back to sleep for two to five year olds
When children wake in the night, it can be tricky to get them to go back to sleep.
This episode is designed to teach them how to soothe themselves and go back to sleep when they’re feeling restless or have had a bad dream.
Follow Suzy’s expert guidance to help your child get the best possible night’s sleep.
Episode 3 – Balloon belly breathing technique for two to five year olds
This fun activity is a great way to relieve pent-up energy and stress after a busy day. Your child will imagine that their belly as a balloon, which will encourage them to be aware of their breathing.
They will learn how to relax their bodies and let go of any tension, helping them to settle down for a restful night’s sleep. This exercise is for children aged two to five.
Episode 4 – Sensory bedtime story for two to five year olds
Join us on an imaginary nature walk in the woods! This is a calming visualisation exercise for your child to enjoy at bedtime.
Set off into the forest and hear the sounds of nature all around with this relaxing sensory bedtime story.
Listen to more related podcast episodes:
- How to improve your sleep podcast with Rob Hobson
- Sleep stories podcast with Phoebe Smith
- Why can’t I sleep? podcast with Dr Nerina Ramlakhan
Episode 5 – Settling down for sleep technique for five to eight year olds
Older children can also have trouble settling down at bedtime. This gentle routine is designed to calm their busy minds and help them to relax.
Follow the exercises to release any physical tension from the day and snuggle down for a good night’s sleep.
Episode 6 – Building your mind garden technique for five to eight year olds
When children are feeling worried, anxious thoughts can well up in their minds at bedtime – making it difficult for them to drop off.
This meditation introduces the idea of the mind garden, which encourages children to visualise their positive thoughts as flowers and negative thoughts as weeds. This teaches them to accept their worries and thoughts without judgement.
Episode 7 – Soothing anxious thoughts technique for five to eight year olds
When your child wakes in the night, they can feel anxious about getting back to sleep. But don’t worry, we’re here to help.
This episode is a form of body scan meditation, which encourages your child to bring their attention to parts of their body – starting with the toes and working up towards their head. This meditation will distract them from their worries and help them to go back to sleep.
Episode 8 – Sensory bedtime story for five to eight year olds
Tap into your child’s imagination and use this meditation to take them on a journey into the natural world.
This calming meditation guides children through a sensory forest walk, describing a natural scene. It’s the perfect way to end a busy day and get your child ready for sleep.