The top 10 bedtime stories to help get your kids to sleep

September 25, 2017

‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’ revealed as a vital part of a child’s bedtime routine 

43% of parents read to their child every night 

Hypnotherapist and author Dipti Tait shares insights into why bedtime stories are so important 


If you struggle to get your little one to sleep at bedtime, you’re in luck! Bed and sleep specialist, Time 4 Sleep, has revealed the top 10 children’s books that are most likely to help your kids drift off to sleep, with the minimum of fuss.


Classic children’s book, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, is the bedtime story most likely to help your kids fall to sleep according to research by Time 4 Sleep. The book, which was first published in 1969 has maintained its popularity for more than 40 years, and is accompanied in the top three by Harry Potter (first published 1997) and other classic favourites such as The BFG (1982) and Goodnight Moon (1947).


The study discovered the top 10 stories every parent should be reading to their child at bedtime are:

1.The Very Hungry Caterpillar (1969)

2.Harry Potter (1997)time 4 sleep bedtime stories

3.The BFG (1982)

4.Goodnight Moon (1947) 

5.The Gruffalo (1999)

6.Winnie the Pooh (1926)

7.Llama Llama Red Pyjama (2005)  

8.Where the Wild Things are (1963)

9.Guess How Much I Love You (1994)

10.The Cat in the Hat (1957)

According to one in three parents (33%), the most important benefit of reading to children at bedtime is to spend quality time together. Over a fifth of parents (21%) feel it helps to settle their child down before bed and a further 14% feel that the main benefit is to educate their child. More than half (54%) of parents also believe that reading to their children before bed is the most important part of their child’s nightly routine and 43% said that they read to their child most nights. 


Dipti Tait, Hypnotherapist and Author, said: “Children respond well to routine and familiarity. Bedtime doesn’t have to be regimented and orderly, but if a child senses consistency, then the routine can be a reassuring concept and keep them feeling comfortable, calm and happy.


“Storytelling is very important for the brain too. The brain, regardless of age, enjoys a good story as it activates our imagination. When we begin reading tales of adventure, fantasy and mystery to our children, this creates a positive pathway for the brain to follow. Once we drop into sleep, the brain naturally falls into REM, the dream state, so quite often the storytelling helps the child begin the REM process and often encourages sleepiness. A simple 10-15 minutes of this down time can have powerful and beneficial calming effects on our mental wellbeing.” 


Jonathan Warren, director at Time 4 Sleep, added: “Reading to your child at bedtime is such a lovely tradition. It’s great to see that so many parents are choosing classic children’s stories that they likely enjoyed when they were children too.

“A good bedtime routine is extremely important. Ensuring your child has a nice bedroom environment will help them to sleep better. Choose a fun bed and style it with their favourite designs and colours to create a space where the little ones will love spending time in.”  


For more information about the importance of a bedtime routine, please visit the Time 4 Sleep website here:

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