I'm not sure if I mentioned it here before or not, but Clara is (was?) not a good sleeper. She was such a fabulous sleeper as a baby but then as she got older, she lost it. Her brain appears to not shut off at night... she's fine all day but at bed time she's worried about everything... people breaking into our house, bugs coming into her room, storms, every little ache or pain.... you name it and she's worried about it. She had to fall asleep with her light on... she usually passed out eventually while reading a book. She would wake around 2 am and turn her light back on (we had turned it off when we went to bed) and then would be up for good around 5:30-6:30. We were at a loss on what to do and I was about to bring it up at her next appointment with her pediatrician.
Well.... I was talking to the moms at Clara's Friday dance class about my frustrations and one of the moms said that she had a book of sleep meditations for children that I could borrow called Starbright. I wasn't sure about that idea... it didn't sound like "us", if you know what I mean. A few weeks went by and then she brought it to dance on a Friday night. I wanted to pre-read it first before I read it to Clara... but Saturday night we were at our second bedtime in a row where she was crying about her legs hurting... so I grabbed the book and just started reading. I would suggest pre-reading as I accidently read some of the "notes to parents" aloud to her... but it calmed her down and she forgot about her leg aches.
She was hooked and couldn't wait until the next night to hear another story (they truly are stories, not at all what I was imagining when I heard the word "meditations"). This time I was better prepared. We turned out the lights, turned off her music and I read to her by flashlight. She was sound asleep before I finished the story.... AND she slept for 10 STRAIGHT hours!!! We're now almost two weeks into this and she has fallen asleep before the story ends about 90% of the time and has slept between 9 to nearly 11 straight hours each night.... no middle of the night nightmares, no early waking.... just good solid sleep.
So... needless to say, I placed an amazon order right away and now own these two books...
Each night you read the same prelude about visualizing their own special star, then their guardian angel comes to protect them and take them to their own special garden. But before they enter their garden, they stop by the Worry Tree to pin all of their worries there. After entering the garden you then read one of the stories from the book. They are beautiful, imaginative short little open ended stories. There is no "the end".... the stories always end with an "I'll leave you now to explore" type of ending. Clara loves imagining the world that is being described. Her favorite story so far is from Starbright and is about a visit to the fairies in her garden. Since her brain doesn't seem to shut down at night... these stories give her something calm and peaceful to think about instead of all of the bad things she used to dwell on. It's just been simply amazing.
Anyway.... I've been so thrilled with these books that I just had to share!