March 15th 2019 is World Sleep Day – a whole day dedicated to celebrating sleep. What a fabulous excuse to spend the day in my pyjamas!
In fact, World Sleep Day has the serious aim of raising awareness of sleep disorders and related issues. Good sleep is worth celebrating. For children, especially, sleeping well is essential for mental and physical health – theirs and their parents’!
Fortunately the World Sleep Day website has a ’10 Commandments for Children’ page with helpful suggestions for encouraging good sleep habits. Not surprisingly, consistency and routine top the list. Tip three is ‘establish a consistent bedtime routine’. It doesn’t actually say ‘share a bedtime book’, but it could be there in big, invisible letters.
Reading a book together is one of the best things you can add to the bedtime routine. Even if the story is a frantic, rip-roaring adventure, the act of sharing it comforts and relaxes, and offers reassurance before sleep.
Last year I was thrilled that the terrific Story Snug blog reviewed my picture book, Goodnight Sleepy Babies for World Sleep Day 2018. Story Snug is updated frequently with new recommendations for picture books and chapter books, perfect for young children.
But you don’t need to stop sharing books as your children get older. A new book from Meghan Cox Gurdon, The Enchanted Hour: the Miraculous Power of Reading Aloud in the Age of Distraction (Piatkus), highlights the benefits of reading aloud for all ages.
It’s never too late to establish regular, relaxing, family together-time. Sharing a book is the most wonderful place to start.