Why I Wrote ‘A Kids Book About Sleep’

Nutrition, Behavior & More · Toddler Sleep

Author of 'A Kids Book About Sleep' shows off a copy of her children's book.

It’s easy to forget that being a kid is not always easy. For one, it can feel like you don’t have a lot of choice in your day. You have to brush your teeth, you have to go to school, and you have to pick up your toys. Kids have an innate drive for independence. And while we want to support this growing sense of autonomy, sometimes there are just things they have to do. Sleep is one of those “have to” things.

I wrote ‘A Kids Book About Sleep’ to empower kids to own their sleep, allowing them to understand ALL the ways that a good night of sleep can positively impact their days. It isn’t just something parent’s make you do; it’s something you GET to do – for yourself.

But that isn’t the only reason I wrote this book

For so many years (since the Industrial Revolution, in fact), there has been a shift away from prioritizing sleep. The I’ll-sleep-when-I’m-dead-mentality is not serving us well. Our brains and bodies are not functioning optimally when we aren’t sleeping the recommended number of hours per night. It’s time to normalize that healthy, restorative sleep can be life-changing.

Understanding how sleep can benefit children through education is one way to help a child struggling with sleep, but there are a few other ways that parents can help support healthy sleep hygiene.

1. Limit Screen Time

I know screens are a big part of everyone’s lives, and there is no way around that reality. However, for the sake of sleep, I recommend turning all screens off at least one hour before bedtime, and keeping screens out of your child’s room. The light from screens can suppress the natural levels of melatonin that rise throughout the day, eventually helping us to fall asleep and stay asleep. Additionally, for some children, a screen in the room can be impossible to resist. So, put those phones and iPads to bed a bit earlier in the evening in a living room, kitchen, or office.

2. Quality Time

Author of 'A Kids Book About Sleep' pictured reading her book with her children. Not only does reading with your children promote early literacy skills, but this book aims to empower kids to feel good about healthy sleep habits.

When we are busy and distracted during the day, sometimes the only chance our child has our attention is at the end of the day…right when you need time for yourself, too. Even 15-30 minutes of quality, uninterrupted time together earlier in the day can fill our kids’ buckets and help them feel better about the separation that comes at nighttime. I can assure you; quality time is a game-changer in more ways than one!

3. Routine

No matter the age, I always talk about the importance of having a bedtime routine. This ritual helps our brains and bodies prepare for sleep. For older kids, I recommend a shower, bath, or even splashing warm water on their face, brush teeth, dim the lights or use amber glow lightbulbs to allow melatonin to do its job, and a quiet or calm activity, like reading together, doing a puzzle, or coloring. You’ll find that these routines help sleep come more easily for your child.

‘A Kids Book About Sleep’ was my chance to spread my reach as a sleep advocate. After doing this for so many years, I have seen the positive impact sleep has on people’s lives. It is the foundation for our health and wellness and affects all aspects of our lives. The other thing I know for sure is… it’s never too late to start sleeping well.

By Katie Pitts, Founder & CEO of Sleep Wise Consulting

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