The secret to a great night's sleep

The Perfect Bedtime Story

Do you struggle getting your kids to sleep around 'Back to School' time? 

For those looking for a hand this September, research has revealed a recipe for the perfect bedtime story. This should last eight and a half minutes and include a dragon, a princess, a wizard and a fairy. 

dad and children with book

The majority of parents say that reading with their child is their favourite bonding time and some have even read to them over the phone or by using Skype.

A third admitted they feel guilty if they don't tell a story when putting their children into bed.

So, here is how to create the perfect bedtime story for your children according to the research…

Most children prefer stories about friendship rather than romance, so try to develop a strong friendship between characters.

Get practising your accents as over half of kids, 56 per cent, prefer stories where the storyteller puts on different voices for each character while a quarter of children like it to be acted out for them.

The most popular character is a Dragon, closely followed by fairies and wizards. Well liked settings are in a castle, the woods or a magical made up land and the characters mode of transport is a horse, flying car, spaceship or a magic carpet. Don't forget to arm your characters with a wand and…. a modern mobile phone. 

But, as we know all children are different. Some prefer less traditionally themed stories, some want their story to follow the life of footballer Lionel Messi, or that all of the action should take place on the Top Gear racetrack.

Some parents say that the 'back to school' period is the hardest time of the year to get their youngsters to nod off for the night.

Silentnight's sleep expert, Dr Nerina Ramlakhan, says: "The school holidays are an exciting time for children, it means enjoying lovely holiday lie-ins, afternoon naps, and sometimes late nights, all hugely affecting both parents' and childrens' body clocks.

"Routine is key to children waking up refreshed and feeling ready for bed at a suitable time. The sooner you begin to reintroduce a sleeping rhythm, after several weeks of irregularity, the sooner all the family can fall back into a healthy sleeping pattern.

For more top tips to ease your child back into a school-time sleep routine click  here


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