A Sleepy Time Book for Kids Ages 4-8

Candy star is a story about how Eddie cannot calm himself to sleep. This is because his thoughts of the day and experiences that he had been keeping him up and stopping him from relaxing. Grandpa Jo tells Eddie a story of a bunny who experiences similar feelings. By using his imagination, Bunny has an exciting and tasty adventure with a friend. He is then able to feel calm enough to be tired to sleep. 

Stories and imagination are a way that can be used to calm the nervous system down so that children can be ready to sleep. Often children have trouble sleeping because their thoughts cannot shut down creating a rise in adrenaline.  Just like Bunny this is when sounds become louder or children may become more hypervigilant, making it impossible to sleep. Using the imagination and how Bunny uses some of his senses such as touch, smell, and taste as well as identifying feelings, in turn, help him to eventually feel happy then calmer and ready for bed. 


Try also reading this story at times when it isn’t bedtime so that you can discuss with your child what aspects of the book they liked and related to. They may even come up with their own helpful techniques for their own bedtime when they are feeling more anxious. What smells, sounds and or images help them feel happy and relaxed? Imagination can be helpful but also noticing what is happening in the body. Some children even find it helpful, if feeling tense to exaggerate tensions such as squeezing the whole body tightly and then releasing it. 

Ruth Israel is an integrative child and adolescent psychotherapist and clinical supervisor. She has worked for many years in schools, charities and has taught child psychotherapists. She has used stories like these to help children to process trauma and develop a language for feelings. Ruth works in the UK and in Israel.