August 30, 2016

Time for Bed, Sleepyhead: The Falling Asleep Book by Daniel G. Amen, M.D.

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When children are having a fun-filled day full of energetic play, it's sometimes difficult for them to understand why they also need to sleep. When they're especially young they may feel as though they are going to miss something if they do go to bed. We've recently been reading a new book, Time for Bed, Sleepyhead written by child psychiatrist, Dr. Daniel G. Amen. The idea behind the book is that it is supposed to offer various techniques to explore our little one's imaginations and at the same time help them drift off to sleep.


ABOUT THE BOOK:
Written by New York Times bestselling author and renowned psychiatrist Dr. Daniel Amen, this cozy bedtime book uses visualization techniques in the storytelling to encourage a child to stretch and even exhaust their imaginations to help them drift off into peaceful sleep.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
The Washington Post called Daniel Amen, MD the most popular psychiatrist in America and Sharecare named him the web’s #1 most influential expert and advocate on mental health. Dr. Amen is a physician, double board certified psychiatrist, television producer and ten-time New York Times bestselling author. He is the Founder and Medical Director of Amen Clinics in Costa Mesa and San Francisco, California, Bellevue, Washington, Reston, Virginia, Atlanta, Georgia and New York, New York.



Upon receiving Time for Bed, Sleepyhead, the first thing that I noticed were the beautiful illustrations done by Gail Yerrill. She uses a wonderful collection of colors and imagery that children will absolutely delight in. I know my son sure loved them. The group of adorable baby animals in this book were huge hit in my house. You had Eli the anteater, Chloe the kitten, Liam the llama, Aslan the white German Shepard, Louie the lion cub, Emmy the emu, and Shakespeare the seal pup. Of course there are also the main characters, Momma and Little Bear. Momma is trying to get her Little Bear to sleep, but he doesn't want to. She then begins to tell him a story and asks him to help her by using his imagination along the way.

Dr. Amen wrote this book as a means to replicate a psychological visualization game that he played with his own daughter to get her to fall asleep. The book is supposed to put off a hypnotic effect on readers and those listening since it contains specific ideas to help facilitate sleep. There is even a disclaimer to not read this in the car while someone else is driving, because it could effect the driver. I can totally see where the author meant to go with this. Oddly enough, I read the book several times to my little one, and both of us didn't receive that same "I'm feeling sleepy" outcome. I guess each person might achieve varying results. Having said that, this in no way affected my overall impression of the book.

Aside from the charming illustrations that I mentioned above, the story is really cute as it takes Little Bear on a fun day out with his other baby animal friends. Momma tells little Little Bear to imagine spending an entire day at the beach with his pals. At the of the day their energy levels are low from having such a blast that it's now time to wind down for bed. Sound familiar? The whole idea is for the child to stretch their imaginations and visualize themselves doing fun things that they may enjoy, and then mentally tuckering themselves out just in time for bed. I also like Momma Bear's explanation of one of the reasons as to why sleep is so important:


"....your brain has a special cleaning crew that works all night long...if you don't get enough seep, the brain doesn't have enough time to clean up. Trash gets left behind. It can build up...making it harder for you to learn–or even feel happy"


While Time for Bed, Sleepyhead is not a miracle answer for getting kids to fall asleep, it is a very endearing children's book that makes bedtime extra special. There's even a mention of the baby animals saying their prayers right before bedtime. If you are looking to add a new book to your bedtime story regime, then I definitely recommend getting this one for the little ones in your life.


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