“He is a bad sleeper, he is so grumpy in the morning, and yep by 5pm meltdowns ensue”
(Jeffrey, age 7)
Our circadian clock is known as an internal process that regulates our sleep wake cycle. This process is imperative for our body and minds to take on the endless demands, sequences and patterns that fill our days. This natural clock has been with us since the beginning. As children we may have been fortunate to be supported in learning to follow our clocks; given food during day time, self care assistance, and even bedtime routines for falling asleep.
For Jeffrey, he learned about his clock by exploring his movement preferences in therapy. His parents learned the importance of how routines, as well as, flexibility could be embodied to decrease rigidity and further bring rhythmicity for optimal regulation and health.
One session, we created routines in movement. First, Jeffrey came up with a movement that felt comfortable to his body. He made the movement fast and used lightness like he was spinning with nothing to hold him down (chaotic movement) . Then, I added in a movement where we stomped our feet and pressed our hands forward (integrated movement). Next, his parents added for us to touch palm to palm and reach all together to the sky (connected movement). The movement phrase was used to signify the importance of listening to our bodies expression of feelings and ideas. The movement acknowledged the importance of supporting and co-regulating with one another through noticing, joining, expanding, and repeating. Lastly, Jeffrey and his parents learned and communicated patterns that needed to be created to support his circadian rhythm and day/night cycle.
Now, Jeffrey is less reactive and more responsive and he is able to ease into sleep and wake with excitement for his day! His entire family has found Rhythm and Movement which allow for the embodiment of health – Who could ask for anything more!
Everyday I work with children of all ages and their families to support their comfort, development, and connections! For more ways to learn how to embody parenting and support your child through life, Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule your time.
Please Note: These stories are based on real moments but all names, ages, and identifying information has been changed to ensure confidentiality and safety for all individuals involved. The events are a composite of related scenarios used to illustrate the work; bringing understanding to the benefits of supporting children through a mind/body connection.