Mindfulness training helps kids sleep better, study finds

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At-risk children gained more than an hour of sleep per night after participating in a mindfulness curriculum at their elementary schools, a study from the Stanford University School of Medicine found.

The research will be published online July 6 in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. The study is the first to use polysomnography techniques, which measure brain activity, to assess how school-based mindfulness training changes ‘s sleep. The  taught children how to relax and manage stress by focusing their attention on the present, but it did not instruct them on how to get more sleep.

“The children who received the curriculum slept, on average, 74 minutes more per night than they had before the intervention,” said the study’s senior author, Ruth O’Hara, Ph.D., a sleep expert and professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford. “That’s a huge change.”

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