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World Book Day – Storytime For Maximising Sleep

Mar 5, 2024

It’s World Book Day, and while children enjoy going to school dressed as their favourite characters, it’s important for us, as parents/carers, to carry on that fun around books and reading at home.

Recent research, ‘Timing story time to maximize children’s ability to retain new vocabulary,’* sheds light on a fascinating correlation between sleep deprivation and language acquisition in children, particularly those with speech and language difficulties.

Understanding the link between the impact of sleep on language development makes the importance of bedtime stories more apparent and that is the perfect time to snuggle up with your child and head on an adventure with a story before they drift off to sleep.

Bedtime Stories: A doorway to Language Development

The role bedtime stories play has a massive influence on vocabulary retention. Research shows that children are more likely to retain new words when exposed to them before bedtime as mentioned in the research. Bedtime stories, with their rhythmic cadence and engaging narratives, provide a conducive environment for language assimilation during the crucial pre-sleep period.

Importance of Bedtime Stories in Routines

Creating time for a story during a child’s bedtime routine is a simple and effective way to enjoy reading with your children and it helps to calm their mind before bed – which should make falling asleep easier for them.

It also has far-reaching benefits for children, especially those facing language challenges and those with additional needs. Forming a consistent bedtime routine, which includes reading, creates a sense of stability, connection, and comfort – that predictability can be reassuring for all children and story time fosters a positive association with language and learning.

The study ‘Goodnight book: sleep consolidation improves word learning via storybooks’* shows role of sleep in consolidating new information, including vocabulary as shown in which shows children who get adequate and quality sleep are better equipped to recall and integrate new words into their linguistic repertoire. For children facing speech and language difficulties, optimising sleep becomes an essential component of any comprehensive intervention strategy.

How to Create a Bedtime Routine:

Here is more information on achieving a good bedtime routine: Bedtime Routines – The Sleep Charity




*It’ll be alright on the night | Emma James (

*Goodnight book: sleep consolidation improves word learning via storybooks Sophie E. Williams Jessica S. Horst*