Preprint / Version 1

A routine within a routine

can bedtime yoga improve sleep for the whole family?




yoga, bedtime routines, preschoolers, household chaos, feasibility


Parents often point to bedtime as a source of frustration, yet early bedtimes and sufficient sleep are important for children's development, learning, and behavior. Objectives: The purpose of this pilot study was to evaluate the feasibility and preliminary effectiveness of a yoga-based bedtime in a sample of parent-child dyads from a rural community. Methods: Using a waitlist control study design, children aged 2-5 years and their parent were randomized to either intervention (yoga) or control (bedtime story) groups. Pre- and post-intervention measures were obtained using the CHAOS, CSHQ, and FNPA scales. Height, weight, and waist circumference were measured by trained research staff. Sleep and physical activity were measured by accelerometry. Results: Of 15 dyads who completed all assessments, 13 (81.2%) completed at least 16 yoga sessions. CSHQ score improved within both groups (Cohen's d 0.42 vs. 0.52 for intervention and control, respectively), and FNPA score improved in the intervention group (Cohen's d = 0.4). Number of sessions completed was inversely associated with change in CHAOS score (r = -0.74, p = 0.003). Discussion: Results show that a bedtime yoga routine is feasible for families of 2-5-year-old children, as evidenced by good adoption and adherence. Improvements in survey-based measures of sleep and household chaos suggest that a yoga-based routine may be slightly more effective than a story-based routine. These data provide preliminary support for further research designed to refine and test a yoga-based bedtime routine in a larger sample.


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