About Meditation for Sleep or Anxiety

Meditation can be a foreign concept or seemingly unattainable to many people. Actually, it takes little effort to accomplish a meditative state of being. Any practice of mindfulness, whether it be on breathing, feeling, vocal intonations, or guided imagery will greatly affect our lives in a positive way. The ability to guide the mind into a calm state allows for restful sleep among other health benefits. Lack of sleep, for both children and adults, can cause numerous issues in mental health, physical health, and quality of life. We all need enough sleep to function with attention and clarity, as well as allowing time for our bodies to grow and regenerate. The National Institute of Health and the Center for Disease Control have funded research on meditation due to its perceived benefits toward health and wellness. Studies show that meditation, in its many forms, significantly alters brain activity; reducing stress, slowing heart rate, modifying pain, and giving those that practice on a daily basis, a sense of contentment or connectedness to a higher power. Perpetual sleep deprivation can increase the risk for some chronic health problems and exacerbate learning deficits. There can be difficulty in making decisions, controlling emotions, and coping. There are also indications that lack of sleep can contribute to significant depression. Conversely, sufficient sleep improves learning of any kind and can enhance problem-solving skills. A sense of motivated well-being is common with those who sleep well. Most parents find it difficult to get excited children to sleep. Their own, and their children’s, lack of sleep will often causes great emotional turmoil in the household, at school, and at work. Anger, mood swings, and lack of motivation are elements that disrupt a happy existence. Learning methods to re-frame thinking and let go of daily worries help to enhance sleep and an overall sense of wellness. There are many ways to meditate or focus one’s attention. People originally used this inward reflection or awareness during spiritual practice or prayer. It is becoming increasingly clear that meditation can offer profound and long-lasting benefits to health and contentment. After finding out that my husband and I were at our wits end trying to get our children to sleep during periods of over stimulation, or some anxiety from a troubling event, we were given a book called, Starbright - Meditations for Children, by Maureen Garth. One ‘meditation’ in particular inspired me to design our own meditations. Each night we modified the imagery based on our children’s daily experiences. We added different imaginary locations and altered the colors in my children’s ‘stars’ to change from negative and dark to positive and bright. Whenever my children had a big day approaching, or were disturbed by an event, or felt insecure, either my husband or I would talk them through a star meditation. They always fell asleep peacefully. This practice also enhanced their creative problem solving skill. Because of practicing imagery frequently, their ability to imagine variables and work through problems helped both accomplish great things. Both of my, now adult, children confess they continue to practice the star meditation when stressed and both have shared the meditation with some of their patients, as well. My children’s ability to focus and calmly work through issues in their daily lives, as well as figuring out complex problems, is largely due to their ability to imagine how to create different outcomes. Not only was this imagery meditation helpful in creating better well-being, it has been a spring board for the creative design of their fulfilling careers in medicine.



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Perry's Star

Imagery and


Perry Heals


and Wellness

Perry Sees


and Intuition





Perry's Friends

Character and Understanding





Suzy Chase-Motzkin

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