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Meditation. There’s a disturbing increase in mental illness and behavioral issues in children and teens these days. Experts point to several factors, including a rise in social media, a lack of face-to-face connections, and even economic woes of the family for the rise in mental problems. While a single cause has not been identified, one thing is certain—we’re living in a stressed-out world.

 

All those stressors and worries can keep a person tossing and turning all night. And without sleep, matters just get worse. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, based on parent reports in 2016, approximately 9.4 percent of children ages two to 17 have been diagnosed with ADHD at some point in their young lives. That’s 6.1 million of our nation’s kids! The problem is that these youngest members of our society are being medicated at an early age for what many are now pointing to as potentially stemming from an inability to get a good night’s sleep.

 

One way to combat the inevitable piling on of stress is to begin a program of meditation. Meditation is a great tool for helping a person feel a sense of peace and bring calm to a hectic day. And it’s never too early to begin. Helping instill in a child practices for reducing stress can create a healthier lifestyle for the long-term.

 

Numerous studies have found meditation to be beneficial for people of all ages, children to adults. The benefits of meditation when practiced regularly help improve concentration and reduce anxiety and behavioral problems. In fact, a study of youth ages four to 12 found that meditation helped many improve behavior at home and at school, improve their relationship with their parents, enhance their self-esteem, and continue to improve after stopping medication. And when the mind is in a better place, the body can get better sleep.

The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Medicine reports that 1.6 million children already practice meditation. Children learn by mimicking the behavior of their parents. If you aren’t already practicing meditation, why not start your whole family on a program that includes meditation to induce calm and relieve stress?

If you’re not sure how to begin, we can help. At the Julian Center for Comprehensive Dentistry, we offer holistic treatment for sleep breathing disorders that include addressing psychoemotional needs. Our holistic healing therapist uses both physical modalities to address the oral/structural needs of patients along with energy to get patients to let go of their attachment to illness and to embrace the various treatments needed to help them relieve stress and get a good night’s sleep.

Don’t wait for the stressors of life to become challenging mental or physical health problems. Start now to give every member of your family good habits for better mental and emotional health for a lifetime.

It’s also important to rule out sleep apnea as a reason for not getting adequate sleep.  Yes, sleep apnea can occur in children as well as adults.