Get The Whole Family To Sleep With This Simple Technique
How we drift off to sleep can be a determining factor in the quality of our sleep. This can apply to both adults and children.
Rather than heading to bed with the worries of the day and the anxiety of tomorrow’s schedule, we can train our brain to focus on the pleasant parts that promote more peaceful slumber.
A simple cue for children of any age is asking them right before sleep, “What was your favourite part of today?”
The 3 main benefits of this one simple question are:
1. Prompting the mind to scour the day’s events for a sweet recall or a fascinating tidbit, drawing feelings of happiness, joy, and often humour, that are all beneficial for setting the stage for quality sleep.
2. The responses to this question provide insight into the experiences of our children, allowing us to see the day through their eyes and discover the gems of their day.
3. This question fosters a practice of finding the bright spots, even in an otherwise dim day, and drawing feelings of contentment, happiness and gratitude to mind at will.
Adults can enjoy the same practice, recalling the best parts of the day before drifting off to sleep. If the mind continually returns to the struggles of the day, try journaling instead. Before bed, write down 3-5 bright spots, even if they are as simple as a cup of tea with a friend, pink clouds at sunrise, the beauty of hoar frost on the tree branches, or a particularly delicious minestrone soup for dinner.
The practice of cultivating gratitude has received significant attention and study over the years. A 2008 University or Manchester in England study of over 400 adults associated evening gratitude journaling with falling asleep faster and enjoying longer and more quality sleep, with improved daytime function.
If you have a particularly stressed student in your home, share the practice of bedtime gratitude journaling with them. You begin with the same prompt that you would with younger children, “What was your favourite part of today?” Their answers may surprise you.
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