How Yoga Helped My Child Sleep Better (And Finally Let Me Sleep Too)
When my son was three, he used to sleep until I had to wake him up in the morning after my morning chores. When he was five, he started having sleeping issues. At first, I thought it was normal. During bedtime, he would start looking for toys, throwing things around and jumping up and down.
My first instinct was to snap at him. You know kind of “put those toys down and get to bed!” stuff. It would work only for him to go play with his blankets and the teddy bear on his bed. I felt irritated. A friend recommended yoga for sleep and today, with my son sleeping better, I cannot thank him enough.
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My son loves yoga
Children love new things. Yoga was a new experience for my son and as such, he loved it. I created a routine for us to follow where we eat an early dinner, I do a few chores as my son does his homework, and then we do yoga an hour before bed. Because I was introducing new poses every day and rewarding my son for executing a pose perfectly, he was very enthusiastic about it.
Most days, he would remind me when I forgot. He would look forward to the new pose he was to learn and to exercise the poses he had learnt earlier. This made my work easy; all I had to do was look for the best yoga poses for children and then practice them with him.
Yoga helped my son calm down
My son is hyperactive. He cannot settle down if he wanted to. Sometimes he would lose sleep at night only to wake up and start doing all manner of stuff with his bed toys. Yoga has had a great impact on his hyperactivity. After the yoga session, he is able to calm down and finally sleep. Actually, we no longer fight for him to get to bed — he requests to go to bed. Whether this is because he feels tired or he is calm, it has worked for him.
My son grinds his teeth during sleep. He has done so since he was three. The dentist told us that it often happens during deep sleep phases or when kids are under stress. so I bought him a dental night guard for teeth grinding at Pro Teeth Guard. Combined with yoga, his teeth grinding issues have subsided.
Yoga was very relaxing for my son and stress-reducing…all I have to do is ensure he follows his bedtime routine.
So many yoga poses to choose from
One thing that makes yoga interesting for my son and I is because there are so many yoga poses to choose from. Every day we have a new pose. Before we start repeating them, it’s already a few weeks. Some of the poses we have tried include:
- Reach for the stars: This is a simple stretching pose that helps my son release the extra energy. Here, we stand and stretch our hands out as if reaching for the stars. In that position, we fold our legs forward then raise them back up. We repeat this a few times before moving on to the next pose.
- Candlestick: This is a pose that helps my son calm his body and mind. He lays flat on his back and extends both his legs up toward the ceiling. While doing so, I encourage him to look at his toes so he doesn’t get distracted by the surroundings. He can hold that pose for 10 seconds, lower his legs, relax a few seconds and then repeat.
- Knee hug: This pose releases tension out of the body for better sleep. He simply hugs his knees and lets out all the tension. When he hugs his knees, I encourage him to let all his muscles, including his face muscles, to stretch. This way he is more relaxed for better sleep afterward.
- Lying butterfly: A yoga instructor taught me this pose citing it had helped her sleep better. We lie on our backs and place the bottoms of our feet together then let the knees fall down on either side. At first, I used to place a pillow on either side of his knees to ensure the exercise was not so strenuous but today his knees can go all the way down.
- Corpse pose: This is a simple pose where we lie on the ground with the legs and arms spread out. We then close our eyes and focus on our breathing.
We do it together
Yoga has helped my son sleep better and that means I sleep better cause he doesn’t have to wake me up! Plus, we are always doing the poses together and that has helped me relax my body and mind for better sleep. Soon, my hubby will be joining us for the poses and this will make it much more interesting for our son.
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