How To Tell The Perfect Bedtime Story

Parents spend an average of a week every year trying to get their children to sleep. The bedtime story is a classic favourite for parents to get little ones off to sleep – but what makes the ultimate bedtime story?

Over 1,000 children co-wrote their ideal bedtime story, showing that little ones love fantasy with dragons, magic and castles – but aren’t interested in a love story!

The research by Butlin’s determined that the perfect bedtime story length was 8.6 minutes, and the majority of children liked the traditional plot, with a hero winning over a baddie, wizards, fairies, princesses and a happy ending.

But like any story it’s not just about the plot but the delivery – over half of children thought the most entertaining story is where each character has a different voice, and a quarter expect the story to be acted out.

And what about effectiveness? Experts say starting off brisk, using short and snappy words to build up to the climax then slowing down in rhythm towards the end of the story will ensure they’re in the land of nod before you know it.

• On average parents spend a week a year trying to get children off to the land of nod
• A fifth of parents (19 per cent) say ‘back to school’ is the hardest time of year to get children to go to sleep
• Over half of parents rely on bedtime stories to get their little one to drift off
• But one in ten worry that they are not good enough at reading to their child, which impacts on their bedtime routine
• Results show the ideal length for the perfect bedtime story should be 8.6 minutes
• And children lean towards fantasy – but prefer a friendship to a love story

UK parent’s stress levels are currently on the rise as new research shows August-September is the most difficult time of year for parents to get their children to drift off to sleep. The struggles stem from the need to get children back into a bedtime routine after the summer break from school, longer days and plenty of ‘staying up past bedtime’.

The hectic modern life means that some parents aren’t home to read bedtime stories to their children. Enter the stage – SleepHero! The SleepHero app lets parents record stories onto an iPhone or iPad which can be replayed to children whenever they need the comforting sound of their parent’s voice.


The Perfect Bedtime Story

Length: 8.6 minutes

The cast: A dragon, a princess, a wizard and a fairy

The setting: A castle

The story includes: A friendship, a scary moment where the hero is in danger, followed by a fight where the hero wins over a baddie, all leading to a happy ending

The hero carries: A magic wand