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Describing the Use of a Mindfulness-Based App for Sleep and Mental Well-Being, Across Age, in Children



In the United States, 68% of children do not get the recommended nine hours of sleep, which can lead to many negative health outcomes (e.g., mental health). Mindfulness meditation mobile apps may be an option for improving children’s sleep and mental health outcomes; however, there is limited research on how children across different ages access these types of apps, the content they prefer, and the benefits they experience.


The purpose of this study was to describe parents’ reports of how and why their children use the Calm mindfulness meditation app and how using Calm may impact their sleep and mental well-being across age and gender.


This study was a cross-sectional survey of Calm subscribers (N = 2437) with children who used Calm. Participants were asked how their child accessed content, why their child used Calm, and the benefits of Calm for their child’s sleep and mental well-being.


Approximately half of the parents reported that they used Calm with their child. Older children (13–17 years) were more likely to use Calm independently, preferred content outside of Calm Kids, and were more likely to use Calm to manage emotions. Younger children (2–12 years) most commonly used Calm with their parents and on a parent’s device and preferred Calm Kids Sleep Stories.


To our knowledge, this is the first study to explore parents’ perceptions of children’s use of a commercial mindfulness meditation app across ages. Children use Calm differently based on their.

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All authors contributed to the conception and design, acquisition of data, analysis, and interpretation of data, drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content, and final approval of the version to be published.

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Correspondence to Taylor Neher.

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Neher, T., Green, J., Puzia, M. et al. Describing the Use of a Mindfulness-Based App for Sleep and Mental Well-Being, Across Age, in Children. Child Youth Care Forum 51, 749–768 (2022).

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  • Children mhealth
  • Kids mobile apps
  • Mobile apps
  • Mindfulness meditation app