Free apps teach kids the importance of sleep

napTeaching children about the importance of a good night’s sleep is now just an app (rather than a nap) away, thanks to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM).


By offering two free tablet applications for kids, the AASM hopes to foster good sleep hygiene in young iPad, Kindle and Android users. The interactive apps focus on sleep patterns in the animal world.

“It’s important that children develop an understanding of why they have to go to sleep: Because it will help them grow and play and feel better during the day—not just because their parents say so,” said Shalini Paruthi, MD, spokesperson for the AASM. “The best method to teach children about a new topic is to start with something that interests them—in this case, we chose animals.”

The tablet apps are based on two children’s picture books by Thomas M. Heffron:

  • I See the Animals Sleeping: A Bedtime Story, illustrated by Roberta Baird.
  • The Animals Sleep: A Bedtime Book of Biomes, illustrated by Lina Safar.

Both stories share sleep habits and habitats of various animals around the world, from familiar creatures, like horses and foxes, to more unusual wildlife, like platypuses and sloths. Kids can either read at their own pace or listen to the audio. Each app includes a coloring book, puzzle and quizzes.

The AASM hopes the stories will help kids understand how important a soothing sleep environment is and encourage them to develop the good sleep habits that support a healthy life.

“Research has shown consistent bedtimes and bedtime routines encourage cognitive development,” said M. Safwan Badr, MD, president of the AASM. “Educating children on necessary sleep health and establishing effective bedtime routines will help foster healthier lifestyles as they grow into adolescents and adults—reducing the epidemic of insufficient sleep in America.”

The AASM recommends using the apps during the daytime.

Parents can download the apps using the following links:

App Store (Apple)

Google Play (Android)

Amazon (Kindle)

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