Stress keeps everyone awake at night - including kids. For children, much of that stress comes from worrying about what other people think of them. We know, because we asked.
More than half (56%) of the young people aged nine to 16 we surveyed told us they felt unable to be their authentic selves in case that made them unpopular. More than a third (37%) said they’d change their behaviour to feel like they fit in.
So we thought we’d better do something about it. After all, we know that a chronic lack of sleep at night can cause all sorts of problems during the day - such as mood swings, behavioural problems and poor concentration.
Inspired by our recent successful storytelling event for grownups with Bill Nighy, we turned to another (inter)national treasure: RuPaul’s Drag Race star Courtney Act.
For Drag Yourself to Bed, we invited a group of children aged from six to 12 years old to enjoy a dream moment: the chance to hear a beautiful tale of self-acceptance, Morris Micklewhite and the Tangerine Dress, read aloud by the glittering Celebrity Big Brother winner. As the young audience chilled out, swirling worries about being ‘different’ could be put to rest through one of the most familiar and well-loved sleep rituals we know - the bedtime story.
As Courtney commented, “Pride is a time to celebrate what makes us unique and the more we let young people know that those things that make us different are actually are greatest strengths, the more comfortable we are in our own skin and the more peacefully we’ll sleep at night.”
We can all do our bit to create a more peaceful haven for little ones at home, and help them rest easier. We asked our resident sleep psychologist and mindfulness expert, Hope Bastine, to recommend more great reads for kids that encourage inclusivity and self-confidence.