Sleep Meditation for Children

January 19, 2011

Getting me to bed was a long routine for my mother. She’d have me all tucked in and start to leave my room and then I’d say, “Mommy, I want some water”. Off she’d go for water, and once I’d had that, she’d be on her way again. My next ploy for keeping her near was — “leave a crack in the door”. She’d leave the door a little open and I’d say “bigger”, and she’d open it a bit further and start to step away. “It’s too big, make it smaller”, I’d say. You can see where this is going! I’m not sure how she would finally make an exit, but I do remember what was going on inside me. I was anxious!

I haven’t thought about this for years, not until I started recording this new podcast (Sleep Meditation for Children). I wanted to go back and remember and get into my child world. What would have helped me if I could have had a guided meditation back then? I tried to speak to the child that I was, and this new podcast offering is what resulted. It is designed to help a child settle into bed and relax into sleep. For children who are fearful at bedtime, there is an added element of a “make believe friend” to help them feel reassured.

Please listen to the meditation first and see if you feel it will be suitable for your child. It’s for fairly young children. I’m sure you’ll check to see if your child liked it after the first time they hear it, and see if he or she has a question about what something means. Like all guided meditations, this will work for some and not others. I do hope, though, that it will send lots of children off to sleepyland feeling relaxed, safe and loved.

I’d love to hear about your experiences with it here. And it’s fine if you use it as an adult. We’ve all still got the child we were within us!


60 Responses to “Sleep Meditation for Children”

  1. Tweets that mention Sleep Meditation for Children | Meditation Oasis -- on January 19th, 2011 1:58 pm

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Mary Maddux. Mary Maddux said: At last! thanks to your requests- Sleep Meditation for Children. Audio- Blog post- […]

  2. Stacy on January 19th, 2011 9:08 pm

    Good evening,
    Which meditations do you recommend for adults prior to bedtime? I see you have a new meditation to help children sleep, but what about adults?

  3. Mary on January 20th, 2011 9:59 am

    Stacy, many people use the Deep Rest Meditation at bedtime. We also have a special meditation for sleep that you can purchase as a CD or mp3 on our website or on iTunes (Sleep Easy).

  4. reza on January 21st, 2011 7:51 am

    im very grateful of you to sending sound tracks meditations..
    i believe you are the best at meditation

  5. Mary on January 21st, 2011 9:52 am

    Glad you’re enjoying the meditations, reza!

  6. Caryn on January 24th, 2011 10:14 pm

    Mary I really love all of the meditations and was very excited to see the children’s meditation added to the list. I am a mom of two (9 & 5) and find that it is hard to introduce meditation into their lives. I didn’t really love the idea of a make believe bedtime friend, I think it was confusing for the children and sounded strange to me. To have your thoughts going to who that person should be or about, just started the mind thinking. I believe younger and older children can learn to fall asleep on their own if they quiet their thoughts in the same way we have to as adults. I would love to have a meditation similar to deep relaxation but done in language a child can understand. I am not an expert, just wanted to give some feedback. Looking forward to more for children.

  7. Mary on January 25th, 2011 9:37 am

    Caryn, Thank you for this feedback. Actually, I added the make believe bedtime friend because some other mothers thought that would be good! Am wondering if your children actually listened to it and how they responded. I can certainly consider doing another meditation leaving out the make believe friend at some point in the future. It always takes time to get enough feedback on a meditation to know the overall response to it. Thanks so much for weighing in!

  8. Michelle on February 10th, 2011 6:37 pm

    Hi Mary. I absolutely love your podcasts. My boyfriend and I stumbled upon them about 6 months ago and have been using your guided meditations ever since. Our daughter is 7, and I have been trying to introduce meditation to her. I tried a few different ones, and she really enjoyed them. When the sleep meditation for children was posted, I immediately tried it for her to use at night. She has the same ‘many requests of anxiety’ that you described. Now she asks for the meditation when she gets in bed. She really enjoys it. I think it is absolutely perfect for her. Thank you so much!

  9. Mary on February 11th, 2011 10:17 am

    How wonderful to hear this, Michelle! Thank you for taking the time to comment, and you are very, very welcome.

  10. Christoph on February 22nd, 2011 12:53 pm

    Thank you for providing this meditation. It came just in time, now that my son (11) is dealing with anxiety issues at bed time.
    I provided him with iPod and head phones at night so he could listen to the episode. Although he sometimes says that it is boring or even spooky. He still listens to it. He has also listened to the Deep Rest meditation.
    I think it is working well for him. When I later pick up the ipod and headphones he is fast asleep.


  11. Mary on February 22nd, 2011 2:12 pm

    Thanks for commenting, Christoph, and you are very welcome. It’s good to hear the meditation is helping your son. Best wishes.

  12. Meg on March 21st, 2011 6:09 pm

    My six year old son really loves this and begs for it almost every night since I downloaded it. This is fantastic and I would encourage you to make more recordings for children. This is something I would pay for, it has helped our family so much. I can never thank you enough.

  13. Mary on March 22nd, 2011 8:46 am

    How wonderful to hear this, Meg. Thank you for taking the time to let us know how much the meditation is helping. I definitely want to do more meditations for children. Doing this meditation was a very special experience for me, and to hear of your son’s response is very moving.

  14. GoddessMessage on March 22nd, 2011 11:10 pm

    Thank for the post! It was worth the read and it is very helpful now that I am having trouble with my child tucking her to bed. thanks!

  15. Mary on March 23rd, 2011 9:13 am

    You’re welcome, GoddessMessage. Did you try the meditation audio with her? It’s on the Listen to Our Podcast page and can be downloaded for free.

  16. Cathy on March 23rd, 2011 11:07 pm

    Mary, just wanted you to know that this 54 year old child loves this meditation. I discovered your podcasts in January while recuperating from a hysterectomy. Right after surgery, how do my toes feel was a much better question than how does my tummy feel! I’m almost back to normal now, and while I’ve branched out to your other meditations, I still listen to this one quite often. After all, the reminder to snuggle into bed is good for any age! Thanks.

  17. Mary on March 24th, 2011 8:37 am

    Cathy, how lovely to hear you’ve been able to use this meditation in your recovery from surgery. I’m not at all surprised that adults are enjoying this meditation — it speaks to the child in us. You are welcome, and best wishes with your ongoing recovery.

  18. Chel on May 5th, 2011 6:48 am

    I just wanted to thank you for ALL your meditations- they have literally changed my life.

    I do have a quick suggestion/request, and perhaps it’s already something you have to offer and I’m just not seeing it: every day I come to work and sit at my desk and it takes a long time to focus and get started. I don’t have the time or to listen and go into to a longer meditation, but I always wish there was something fairly quick I could listen to in order to get centered, find my focus, trust in the process, and then dive in to the work at hand.

    It’s almost as if I’m afraid to start my day and my work, even though I deeply enjoy it. I have been thinking about how a “small” Meditation Oasis podcast on getting started, focusing, and centering might be perfect.

    Thanks for reading this and for your consideration. Again, HUGE thanks for all the insights, comfort, calm, and joy your meditation podcasts have brought me. i have been a fan for years- I purchased a CD with several of your meditations of it years ago and was delighted to find your podcasts. What a treat!

  19. Mary on May 5th, 2011 3:52 pm

    You are very welcome, Chel. It’s great to hear from someone who has used the meditations for a long time and gotten so much benefit! The Work Break Meditation is about 9 minutes, and our very first podcast meditation, Relaxation Break, is about seven minutes. If you want something really short, our Remember to Breathe app (on iPhone and Android) has some very brief breathing break meditations. They’re just about a minute long and help you get started with breathing/centering. We will add your request to our list — how many minutes were you thinking?

  20. Chel on May 6th, 2011 3:29 pm

    Mary- thank you so much for your response! I was thinking just a handful of minutes- maybe 3-5? Enough to calm and center, but not enough that I would decide “heck, I’m just going to let go and meditate for half an hour” 😉

    I love the “Work Break” meditation. It’s great for lunch and during afternoon tea breaks. I also meditate in the evening, when I have the time and focus to spend 15-30 minuted with your meditations. Last night I did the Chakra meditation.

    I also have to thank you for the Source meditation- it has always brought about some very, very powerful experiences for me. What a wonderful meditation- thank you again for sharing all of these with us.

  21. lorraine on May 16th, 2011 3:56 pm

    just found your site from the ipod podcasts..marvellous. I have been listening to them most of the day and they are really helpful so have put a link on my blog to here. I played this to 2 of my sons last night and they nodded off so it works and it calmed me down too!

  22. Mary on May 16th, 2011 4:11 pm

    Good news, lorraine– love to hear of your sons sent happily off to sleep! How old are they?

  23. Mel on August 1st, 2011 6:49 am

    Firstly want to say how much i love and appreciate your meditations. I played this sleep meditation to my 12 year old son the other day, as he was curious. He was really into it until the ‘imaginary sleep friend’ bit came in – then he absolutely cracked up laughing, and by the time he was supposed to ‘cuddle his imaginary sleep friend’ he was on the floor crying with laughter saying ‘ooh thats disgusting’ and went bright red embarrassed. The minds of pre-teens eh? Lol, I think he was imagining this girl he likes in his class..

  24. Mary on August 1st, 2011 9:29 am

    What a funny story, Mel! Yes, a preteen would hear the imaginary friend in a different way 😉

  25. Caroline on August 13th, 2011 1:29 pm

    I am a huge fan. My favourite is your Opening the Heart meditation, which I play for my children almost every night. They had heard me listening to it before bed and begged to join in, and now they do it on their own and ask for after their story.

    I also did that particular meditation a week before my mom passed away; she lives far away. The night I did the meditation, I visualized my mom as the person I made the heart connection with. The next day she called me. I was out so she left a lovely message on the answering machine saying that she had a very strong feeling about me the night before, at the same time I was doing the mediation, but didn’t call as she was afraid she would wake me.

    A week later she died before I could get home to see her, and I saved her message and play it often. Now that she is gone, I still do the meditation and think of her.

    Thank you so very much.

  26. Mary on August 14th, 2011 10:12 am

    Caroline, thank you so much for sharing this beautiful, touching story. We’re sorry for the loss of your mom. How wonderful to have felt, and continue to feel, that connection in the heart. Best wishes.

  27. Mya Vetter on January 5th, 2012 9:21 pm

    Thanks Im 11 and I still use it it really helps thankyou oh and my mom uses it too THANKYOU again!!!!!! I think you should make some more videoes too!!!

  28. Mary on January 6th, 2012 9:42 am

    You’re welcome, Mya! I’m so glad the meditation is helping — that’s great news!

  29. Mya on January 26th, 2012 10:24 pm

    SORRY to bug you probably wont but you should make another one of these kid meditations!!!Thanks for this 1 though!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  30. Mary on January 27th, 2012 11:51 am

    Mya, I really do want to!

  31. Alexander (Sandy) Jankowski on April 18th, 2013 1:40 pm

    This and some others (eg music) have a preamble that I wish were not present. I just want to park the laptop, click the link, and have the meditation (or music) play. My ‘child’ is old enough not to wish to be thought of as a child. The preamble, besides being distracting, in this case causes my child to think, ‘I’m not a child. This is not for me.’

  32. Alexander (Sandy) Jankowski on April 18th, 2013 10:56 pm

    P.S. This is small potatoes beside the wonderful job that you do, and your generous nature.

    Thank you for being you.

  33. Mary on April 19th, 2013 9:01 am

    Thank you for your feedback, Sandy!

  34. Mary on April 19th, 2013 9:02 am

    You are welcome, Sandy. Sweet of you to add this note :)

  35. Just say om: Calm your kids down by teaching them meditation on June 4th, 2013 5:01 am

    […] Oasis offers a ton of free virtual meditation guides, including this one: Sleep Meditation for Children. You can find more Meditation Oasis downloads in the Podcasts app on your iPad or […]

  36. Craig Coggle on June 10th, 2013 12:29 pm

    Thanks for this Mary, I will definitely try this with my 2 year old.
    As a coincidence, I had started doing my evening meditation in his room as he settles down to sleep and that has been working wonders. This will be the next step for sure!

  37. Mary on June 11th, 2013 11:20 am

    How perfect to meditate in your 2 year old’s room as he’s settling down to sleep! There’s definitely an influence on others when we are meditating, and with your bond with your child, it’s especially strong. Often children of meditating parents ask them to meditate when their parents are stressed :)

  38. Dawn Pepper on September 28th, 2013 7:17 pm

    Mary, Our daughter, Lily-True slips off to sleep with your meditation every single night! Last night my mum was here and she told Grandma she needed her “Angel Lady” – every night! Thank you for alleviating a 5 yr old’s night time trauma! She is ‘out soundly’ at 10 mins 35 seconds! Giggle.We love your podcasts! Peace to you!

  39. Mary on September 30th, 2013 11:18 am

    Dawn, it warms my heart to hear this! You are so very welcome. Please give Lily-True a hug from her “Angel Lady” :)

  40. Kristen on October 23rd, 2013 8:40 pm

    What a beautiful meditation – thanks for sharing. My nine year old daughter loves it. I’ve been using meditations with her before bed for about 5 years now. I create my own, by incorporating her favourites places, foods, animals and people. I then try and include all the senses. If you’d like some help I have a free guide on


  41. caitlin on November 8th, 2013 4:39 am

    was having problems getting my 8yr old niece to sleep as we are away from home (visiting her gramma in hospital) and she could not settle. Put this on and by minute 6 she was fast asleep. THANKYOU!!!

  42. Mary on November 8th, 2013 10:57 am

    You are so welcome, caitlin. I’m so glad the meditation helped your niece fall asleep :)

  43. Rachel on March 10th, 2014 8:36 pm

    Thank you! You’ve just helped my family immensely. 1st night it took 5 plays for my Ava to go to sleep, the second night 3 plays and tonight she didn’t even make it through 1 play before I heard the sweet sound of her snoring! I only wish it were longer! We have been miserable each night with our daughter who has sensory issues, anger and anxiety. She is 5 and loves your pod cast. I’ve never seen her relaxed and quiet at bedtime. She used to toss n turn, scream, kick, jump on the bed, if she wasn’t agitated she would still talk and talk and talk or I’d need to sing a million lallabys only to have her fall asleep at 10. Now if only we could get my 7 month old to sleep! :-)

  44. Mary on March 11th, 2014 4:34 pm

    Rachel, how wonderful to hear your Ava is relaxing and falling asleep — and helping your family!. I wonder if the music from the podcast (the Music for Meditation episode) would be calming for your 7 month old — worth a try! Thank you so much for letting us know — this warms our hearts. And, you are so very welcome.

  45. Kimberly on April 22nd, 2014 8:26 pm

    Thank you so much for this gentle meditation. My 5 year old daughter loves it, and tells everyone about her imaginary sleep friend and how he keeps her safe all night. She was having trouble falling asleep lately as she worried about monsters etc, this has worked wonders and has helped us to have much more pleasant days as she is well rested and centered. Thank you! I use your other meditations and love them as well.

  46. Mary on April 23rd, 2014 11:00 am

    You are so welcome, Kimberly. It warms our hearts to know your daughter (and your family) have benefitted so much from the meditation. Thank you for taking the time to let us know!

  47. Emily on May 26th, 2014 1:33 am

    Wondering if you ever did record a version without the imaginary friend part??
    I really would love to use this for my 2 year old daughter but that part really doesn’t work for us and I saw in the much earlier comments that someone else commented on that and you mentioned possibly recording an alternate version.
    If so, I’d love to access it!
    Thank you for this gift!

  48. Mary on May 26th, 2014 9:58 am

    Emily, unfortunately I haven’t been able to record an alternate version. We do plan on making a special app of children’s meditations in the future, and can include another version with that, but that may be sometime off.

  49. Michele on June 3rd, 2014 5:36 pm

    Mary, do ou have other meditation for children? Fr the first few weeks this worked great for my 8 yr old but now She is getting use to it without the same effect of sleeping quickly.
    I have the other apps and use several when I can not sleep but can not find one suitable for her beside this one.


  50. Mary on June 4th, 2014 9:05 am

    Michele, we don’t have any other meditations specifically for children, although it seems there are some of our other podcast meditations that work for some children. If you listen to our podcast meditations, you might find something suitable.

    We do plan on making an app of children’s meditations in the future. That will be announced on our website and our Facebook and Twitter pages when it happens.

  51. Marie on July 28th, 2014 8:45 pm

    Hi Mary, I just wanted to tell you that we LOVE this meditation in our home. I have a highly sensitive child who did all those stalling tactics you mentioned in your blog post. Once we started using this (she’s 7) she has been looking forward to bedtime! The imaginary friend, is actually her favorite stuffed animal– we just told her she could use an actual stuffed animal. Worked fine for her.

    Her favorite part is when you suggest wiggling to get comfortable in the sheets. We can clearly see her relax in a very genuine way once she is settled.

    Thank you!!

  52. Mary on July 29th, 2014 8:43 am

    Marie, your are very welcome, and thank YOU for taking the time to comment and letting us know about your 7 year old daughter. It’s very fulfilling to hear that bedtime has become a relaxing, good experience for her. I love that her imaginary friend is her stuffed animal. That’s perfect!

  53. Anna on February 3rd, 2015 12:43 am

    Ummmm. You have done what we have been trying to do for years. Calm our daughter down for sleep with no fuss. We’ve tried everything. I stumbled upon this tonight in desperation. She listened to the whole track once, then I repeated it. 2 minutes later she was asleep. Thank you! This kid is very hard to wind down but she does love yoga. Other meditation stories for kids worked a bit, however you actually sent her to sleep. I’m so thrilled. Thank you.

  54. Mary on February 3rd, 2015 12:38 pm

    Anna, I am thrilled to – so very happy to hear this. And you are very welcome!

  55. Hannah on February 10th, 2015 4:01 pm

    Mary, over the years your calm voice and thoughtful words have helped me through many a difficult situation. Tonight you helped my 7 year old daughter settle and sleep which may sound simple but she finds it so hard to sleep and tonight she was particularly distressed so thank you. Blessings and love for being a part of our family from afar. X

  56. Mary on February 11th, 2015 12:51 pm

    Thank you, Hannah, for taking the time to comment. I’m so glad the meditations have helped so much and it warms my heart to hear about your daughter. You are very welcome! All the best to you.

  57. Anoush on February 19th, 2015 8:56 am

    do you recommend that they listen to it in bed or siting up in a particular position? Sleep has been a struggle with my 9 year old so we are trying everything.

    Thank you.

  58. Mary on February 19th, 2015 3:42 pm

    Hello Anoush, I would recommend your child listen to it lying down in bed at bedtime. Please let us know how it goes, and if you have any questions.

  59. Lisa Williams on April 27th, 2015 12:45 am

    Thank you so much for sharing this children’s meditation. My 6 year old has terrible sleep anxieties, she will not sleep without me sitting by her every night, the whole getting to sleep process can take up to two hours a night, I am a very frazzled mum who has tried everything you can possibly imagine. I sit by her bed most nights searching the Internet for suggestions, tonight I came across your recording which I have just played to her and she was asleep in seven minutes. She spoke to me a couple of times about her guardian angel and then was fast asleep. You voice is soothing and calming and I will be trying again tomorrow night to see if she reacts the same way. Thank you again for sharing. I am a happy mum tonight x

  60. Mary on April 27th, 2015 9:38 am

    Lisa, I am so happy to hear this, for both your sake and your daughter’s! I hope she continues to respond so well. Please keep me posted on how it goes.

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