We all know that reading to our children is filled with benefits. From language development to a lifelong love of books, this simple and enjoyable routine makes a positive impact in more ways than one. But what about timing? Is it actually important to read to your kids at bedtime instead of only in the morning? Science says yes, and we’ll dive into the details of why this is in the post below.
Kids Retain New Language Best at Night
Perhaps the most interesting benefit for bedtime stories is that their timing leads to the most effective language retention that your child will experience all day long. Research shows that overnight gains are most important when it comes to new vocabulary, and overnight improvements are highest when the words are heard 3-5 hours before bed. This makes nightly storytime seem essential, no matter how much you’re reading to your little one earlier on.
Stories Before Bed Support Healthy Sleep Habits
When done every night, stories become part of the bedtime routine. These every-night patterns can help to improve sleep, reduce stress levels, teach self-care, and more. They’ve even been shown to build basic skills in cognitive skills like working memory and attention.
The entire bedtime routine may look something like:
● Take a shower or bath
● Get into pajamas
● Have a snack
● Brush teeth
● Read a book together
● Lay down for the night
The bedtime story is just a small piece, but it’s an important one nonetheless.
Bedtime Cuddles Benefit the Entire Family
Bedtime snuggles during storytime aren’t just cozy — they’re actually beneficial for better sleep and overall health. Cuddling with your child has been proven to encourage relaxation and an overall sense of calm, lower stress and anxiety levels, reduce common childhood discomforts like teething and colic, and even improve digestive, pulmonary, muscular, circulatory, and immune function. What more could you want to give your child right before they drift off to sleep?
All in all, it’s clear that evening storytime is both fun and beneficial for everyone involved. If you need a few new books to add to your nighttime rotation, feel free to check out the selection below: