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

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

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