Here at Simba, we regularly let our imaginations run wild. When it comes to pioneering new ways to help you sleep sweeter, we go to dreamland and back again. But the question is, could your imagination also play a key role in unlocking that perfect night? We turned to the experts (you) and the assistance of national treasure Bill Nighy to find out more.
Pretty much everyone loves a good story, be it a plot-twisting thriller or a will-they-won’t-they rom com. But do they help us sleep? As children, a bedtime story is part and parcel of the evening routine, but this habit fades over the years. Between juggling busy careers with even busier social lives, it can be a tall order to find time to delve into the latest bestseller - especially if it looks nightmarishly long and complicated.
So we asked 2000 adults their thoughts about bedtime reading. Two thirds told us diving in to a good book before bedtime helps them drift away. And one in ten said they find a children’s book is the best choice for relaxing the mind. 60%, meanwhile, had a hankering to revisit the stories that helped them nod off in their younger years. Our study also listed the 30 children’s books that adults would most want to re-read, with a top five including famous titles like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The Secret Garden. But ultimately, it seems us wistful grown-ups are desperate for another turn around Narnia, as The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe scooped the top spot.
Fresh from our study, we gave the grown-ups what they wanted - an evening of adventure-filled R&R in London’s Gladstone Library, hosted by none other than the award-winning actor Bill Nighy. Bill lulled the audience - a group of curious kids’ lit fans - into a soothing slumber with a reading of C.S. Lewis’ wartime classic, while each guest found their comfort zone on one of our Motion Base beds, so each could choose their perfect relaxation position (and melt away the tension with the built-in massage function) while chilling out on a Simba Hybrid® Mattress.
Simba’s resident sleep psychologist, Hope Bastine, also made an appearance to talk about why it’s high time adults start using their favourite once-upon-a-time tales to wake up feeling refreshed. “Revisiting books from our childhood not only reminds us of an early brain-encoded bedtime habit, they also help to ignite our imagination”, says Hope. “Children’s classics play a fantastic role in transporting us back to a magical part of our youth and could play more of a role in helping us to sleep than many of us realise.” She adds, “When our mind is swirling with the facts and thoughts of the day, stories can help us shift down a gear before bed. The act of entering into a literary world focuses the mind and distracts us from the daily stresses, releasing the muscular heart tension and lowering the breathing rate necessary for restful sleep.”
It might not only be your sleep that gets a boost, either. Rediscovering fiction from our youth before bed could also improve our creativity the day after. Nearly 40% of the adults we asked said they actively use children’s literature to spark their imagination.
So we’ll leave you to pick your favourite from the list, and head back into the wardrobe, down the rabbit hole or along the Yellow Brick Road. With a little help from Simba and your favourite childhood characters, you might just find the fairytale ending you’ve been hunting for.
For now, it’s sweet dreams from us.