The Washington PostThe Washington Post

Do storybooks about bedtime help children get to sleep? Yes and no.

By Jennie Yabroff

15 Dec 2022 · 4 min read

Editor's Note

There are very many children's books about falling asleep. But reading about sleep may not actually help kids fall asleep. The Washington Post explains.

Once upon a time there was a little boy who didn't want to go to bed. His mother, who did want to go to bed, read him a story about a very sleepy bunny. The little boy soon closed his eyes and fell asleep, and they all slept happily after.

In my house, at least, this story would be shelved with fantasy fiction, along with books that promise you can potty-train your toddler in one weekend and raise a child to adulthood without ever raising your voice. Some nights my son closes his eyes after one book. Some nights he's still wide-awake after 10.

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