Anyone who has ever suffered a bout of insomnia knows how frustrating it is to try to fall asleep when your mind is not ready; this is true not just for adults but also for young children, who often stall and fuss as bedtime draws near. The Smart Dreamzz series of CDs has been proven to help children (ages three to ten) unwind, relax, and clear their minds so that they can easily drift off to sleep — and stay asleep all night long. They also are designed to stimulate the areas of a child’s brain that are associated with attention, memory, and general happiness. Dino Dreamzzz has children imagine that they are different types of dinosaurs as they relax their minds and muscles, while listening to a story filled with fun facts and tranquil sounds. Animal Dreamzzz reduces bedtime battles by engaging children in imagining that they are a giraffe, baby elephant, or bear, as they relax their bodies. And Rocky Mountain Day Dreamzzz, designed for at-home or classroom use, calls forth the brain’s relaxation response to help children reduce feelings of anxiety and stress, while the guided meditation stimulates the attention, memory, and problem-solving areas of the brain.
While Dr. Race says that nighttime fears and sleep difficulties are a normal part of a child’s development, she also recognizes that today’s children experience what she calls “unprecedented levels of stress,” making it difficult for them to unwind at night. By engaging their minds with delightful stories entwined with relaxation exercises and guided imagery, Dr. Race has found a way to help children — and their parents — enjoy peaceful bedtime routines and nights of deep and restful sleep.
Dr. Kristen Race is an expert in child, family, and school psychology, a certified Yoga for Kids instructor, and a parent of two young children. She also teaches emotional management skills to young children in a preschool setting and offers classes for their parents. Her philosophy and methods stem from the integration of developmental neuroscience and child development and from the fields of positive psychology and mindfulness.