According to the latest findings, children who cultivate mindfulness and meditation skills are likely to have better mental health and sleep better. Namely, Stanford Medicine researchers revealed that children who practice mindfulness sleep one hour longer than children who don’t.
According to the researchers, meditation and mindfulness could aid kids in learning as well as assist them in strengthening emotional stability. The study notes that telling children to sleep earlier is not helpful, but teaching them relaxation techniques is.
For this novel study, the experts enlisted the help of low-income families and used a test that analyzes brain activity—polysomnography. For two years, children’s classroom teachers and yoga instructors presented the curriculum twice per week.
In the control group, REM sleep minutes stayed constant during that time, while the total sleep decreased by 64 minutes per night. On the other hand, the children who took part in the mindfulness and meditation lessons got 24 minutes of REM and 74 minutes of overall sleep.
Since the length of REM sleep, which aids in memory consolidation, increased in children who learned mindfulness and meditation strategies, the experts speculate that these children may also perform better in school activities.
According to Dr. Ruth O’Hara, human and animal evidence suggests that REM is crucial for the proper development of emotional and cognitive function and neuronal development.
Fortunately, nowadays, over 5,000 educators in the United Kingdom are teaching mindfulness in schools. Hopefully, this trend will increase in the United States as well.