The stress and disruptions of the pandemic has resulted in shortages of sleep for just about everyone—including kids. But a new study has found something that might help little ones rest easier: mindfulness training.
New research from the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine found that a diverse group of children from low-income households slept more than an hour longer each night after learning mindfulness training at their elementary schools for two years. The experiment also boosted the duration of kids’ rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, which is important for emotional well-being and resilience.
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Mindfulness-based interventions have been developed for use with college students, but research on the effectiveness of these interventions is limited. The present study explored the effectiveness of a mindfulness-based group therapy intervention for helping undergraduates cope with COVID-19-related stress. This intervention, Koru Mindfulness (KM), was administered to students across four weekly sessions. A second group of students who did not participate in KM served as controls. As the COVID-19 pandemic developed, students who participated in KM showed increases in mindfulness and self-compassion, but no change in emotional distress, while control group students showed no changes in mindfulness and self-compassion but increases in stress and anxiety. Further analyses indicated that the benefits of KM were related to how much participants increased in mindfulness. These findings have clinical implications for the use of mindfulness-based interventions among college students and other young adults.