Why Is Sleep Audio for Kids Becoming So Popular?

6 Min Read | By Sophia Rimmer

Last Modified 31 March 2023   First Added 13 August 2021

This article was written and reviewed in line with our editorial policy.

When we utilise sound and music to create the atmosphere of a tale, we call it a soundscape. They include ambient noises, relaxing sound effects, sounds of nature, gentle musical beats, or somebody reading in an interesting yet relaxing voice. Here, we explore the benefits of an audiobook before bed and some tips for implementing them into your youngster’s sleep routine. Dreams also has its own range of children’s bedtime stories that can be watched or listened to. You’ll find links to them below…

1. Creates a sense of calm

When it’s time to put our teeny tots to bed, it can be difficult to create a sense of relaxation and calmness that’ll help them to nod off. Reading a bedtime story has long been an effective way for parents to set the tone and suggest it’s time to settle down. A more modern take is the use of audiobooks. Listening to magical tales, kids can doze off peacefully into the land of Zzzs and as much as we cherish the quality time with our loved ones, there’s no denying sometimes, we need a little break!

That’s why sleep audio is becoming increasingly popular at night-time — especially for busy parents and guardians. The Moshi sleep and mindfulness app and BBC calming sounds are two popular services.  However, Dreams have created their own sleep audio for children. These are stories with a difference. With descriptive narratives, relaxing sounds, soundscapes, and soothing voices, they create the perfect atmosphere for a sleepy child. And if your little one really took to the Olympics and Paralympics like the rest of the nation, there’s a range of relaxing and inspiring bedtime stories about some of Team GB’s and ParalympicsGB’s athletes.

Listen to or watch Millie Knight’s Paralympic Dreams bedtime audio…

SpotifyApple Music

2. Improves sleep quality

The importance of a bedtime routine derives from our childhood where sleep quality is crucial to child development. Naturally as parents, we want to set our kids up for a good night’s sleep and we can do this by creating an efficient bedtime routine.

Consistency at bedtime is key. We need to make sure the activities we do before we say goodnight and dim the lights are having a positive effect, that’s calming the minds of our fidgety mini-mes and encouraging relaxation. Sleep adviser Lisa Artis, from The Sleep Council, says:

A consistent bedtime routine, and making sufficient time to relax, is key to achieving a good night’s sleep. Listening to an audiobook is one way to wind down before bed as it helps you to switch off…

Explore sleep audio for kids with Dreams

More and more mums and dads are downloading sleep audio onto their children’s smart devices ready for bedtime which tells us they must be working miracles. And science can back this up! When we listen to audio at night, sound waves are converted into electrical signals in the brain. As the brain perceives noise, physical effects are triggered. Many of which help us sleep and reduce issues that prevent us from sleeping.

3. Unlocks your child's love for reading

Audiobooks can develop a child’s passion for reading. Especially, ones who struggle with reading. A recent study from The National Literacy Trust explored the benefits of audiobooks for young people. One of their key findings was the power of audio to engage reluctant readers. They found 1 in 5 (21.7%) children said that listening to an audiobook or podcast increased their interest in also physically reading books. By their very nature, they allow all children, regardless of reading ability, to access and explore the amazing world of stories, which are brought to life by a variety of engaging voices, dialects, and sound effects.

At night time, if your child is getting frustrated with themselves as they find books difficult to comprehend, you can open up literature to them through audiobooks. It will create a peaceful atmosphere and help your child fall in love with reading along.

4. Develops your little one's literacy skills

Sleep audio is becoming increasingly popular at bedtime and not just for its calming characteristics, but also its educational benefits. Listening to audiobooks introduces children to objects and ideas that are not readily available in their immediate surroundings — magical kingdoms, talking animals, and fairy-tale princesses. But sleep audio can go beyond the typical fairytales that we’re used to reading to our youngsters. Look out for inspiring stories about real-world people that can help show them that anything is possible if they work towards their goals.

And if you’d rather stick to the magical worlds they already enjoy, know that imagination is important to teach children from a young age as it fosters cognitive and social development. Here’s what The National Literacy Trust had to say on the matter:

2 in 5 (40.3%) children and young people agreed that when they listen to stories rather than watching videos, they use their imagination more. They can also get more out of an audiobook because the listening experience improves their knowledge of tone, pronunciation, accents, and dialects.

Naturally, as a parent, you may be worried about audio negatively impacting your child’s reading development as they won’t be following words on paper. However, evidence from The National Literacy Trust shows listening to an audiobook needs the same cognitive skills as reading a book, as well as supporting the development of reading skills such as language comprehension and the capacity to grasp and retain information. In Learning through Listening in the Digital World, Drs. David Rose and Bridget Dalton reported:

Both learning to listen and listening to learn are critical to literacy in the 21st Century as new technologies rebalance what it means to be literate and to learn.

5. Encourages happy bedtime thoughts

One of the most wonderful benefits children can take from listening to sleep audio is the power it has to boost their mood. Think back to when you were a child, every day brought new information to learn and new experiences. Even for adults, some days can still be overwhelming, stressful, and worrisome. And whether we like it or not, these feelings tend to come to bed with us at night.

But, sleep audio can help our children switch off and relax. By listening to soothing voices and thrilling tales, negative thoughts are replaced with excitement and joy. Thoughts are slowed down as their little ears follow the music and sounds. In no time at all, your youngsters will fall into a deep and peaceful sleep.

Getting started:

As sleep audio and books are becoming more loved by parents and children, getting started is easy. There are many free online resources that offer free audio for your children’s bedtime routine. Visit Dreams’ Spotify / Apple Music channels to unlock the door to the captivating stories of Paralympian stars and a range of animal-filled, calming bedtime tales.

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