Shichida’s 5 Minute Suggestion is a method of autosuggestion that parents can use to help their children improve their behaviours and to develop emotional resilience. The idea is to speak to your child 5 minutes after he falls asleep using love and encouragement to help him overcome any obstacles or difficult behaviours. It’s sounds pretty straight forward when you read it but a few mothers have raised the question with me that it is sometimes hard to catch your child in that window 5 minutes after falling asleep since we don’t necessarily know the exact moment our children fall asleep (especially when they can pretend so well – Aristotle’s mastered the art of faking sleep down to a t). So what if you miss that window? Will it still work?
Here’s what I think…
“During the first 5 minutes after a child has fallen asleep, the conscious mind goes to sleep, but the subconscious is still awake and functioning. This is a good time to work on the subconscious mind.”
There are 4 stages of sleep – 3 stages comprise of non-REM sleep (non rapid eye movement) and 1 stage of REM sleep (also known as the dreaming stage). Throughout the night, you go through cycles of sleep where you move through each stage of sleep. This is a typical cycle of sleep:
- NREM 1 – 10 minutes
- NREM 2 – 30-60 minutes
- NREM 3 – 20-40 minutes
Although babies go straight from wakefulness to REM sleep, by the time they are 3 months, the normal NREM/REM sleep pattern tends to take place. That means that when you use the 5 minute suggestion with your child, you are really speaking to him when he is in NREM 1. The brainwave frequency at this time is 6-8hz which is pretty close to REM frequency (the pattern of which is said to be very much like wakefulness).
Here is a typical sleep cycle pattern of a child over the course of a night:
I would presume that if you missed your child’s first 5 minutes of sleep, the next best time is to catch her is just after a REM stage – which is easy to detect because you will be able to see that your child’s eyes will stop moving. Of course this is just me making assumptions…
- Shichida 5 Minute Suggestion
- Shichida 5 Minute Suggestion Part 2
- Sleep Talk – the Goulding Process
- Shambala Kids by Mellisa Dormoy