Today is World Book Day! A celebration of authors, illustrators, books and most importantly it’s a celebration of reading.
And here at The Sleep Council we’re big believers in reading – especially when it’s used as part of a bedtime routine.
Reading is one of the most preferred ways for both children – and adults – to wind down at bedtime. Yet we don’t practice what we preach. A survey we did in 2012 found that 54% of those who were brought up in the Coronation year read books when they were schoolchildren yet less than a third of today’s kids of the same age read before bedtime – 58% of them now spend that time watching television.
It’s really important that children learn how relax before bed. The onslaught of TV, gaming machines, computers and mobile phones has brought about lots of new issues about how kids are not switching off properly before bed and how it’s impacting on sleep quality.
Routine is key to getting a good night’s sleep. It’s one of our top tips – for both children and adults. Going to bed and getting up at roughly the same time, all the time, programmes your body to sleep better. Parents need to be stricter about enforcing bedtimes and making sure a consistent bedtime routine is followed – and that means removing or limiting distractions in the bedroom ie games machines, TVs and mobiles etc which are at the root of many sleep problems.
As a parent, I find a bedtime story a really lovely part of the day. Just you and your child cuddled up in the peace and quiet. So to celebrate this year’s World Book Day why not make the time to read with your child, or even to make up stories as part of the bedtime routine– trust me, you and they will love it!