Last updated on November 21st, 2016

 

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine has just released two free new apps to educate children about the importance of sleep. The AASM , whose membership includes over 12,000 accredited sleep centres and individuals, hopes that the two new apps will  “help parents and educators teach children more about animals and sleep”

Both apps are adapted from the AASM’s illustrated childrens’ books; “I See the Animals Sleeping: A Bedtime Story” uses narration and detailed illustration to explore the ways different animals sleep, from tigers to sloths. “The Animals Sleep: A Bedtime Book of Biomes” explores the varied environments animals sleep in, and encourages a healthy bedtime routine by “creating an entertaining connection between the sleep of animals and children.”

 

As well as story-telling, the apps include many other activities including a colouring book, puzzle and quiz games based around the topic of animals and their sleep habits.

The rewards of reading to children are well known and the positive effects, which include improved memory, attention, language skills to name a few, are thought to yield benefits for years to come.

However, the recent rise in use of iPads and other tablets raises a slight concern in terms of bedtime reading for kids. As tablet ownership has grown, electronic books (ebooks) have become equally popular, with one survey claiming that over two thirds of under 13’s regularly read books on electronic devices.

But as recent research has shown, the type of blue light emitted from tablets can disrupt the brain’s natural sleep mechanism, by blocking the hormone melatonin, which causes us to become drowsy at night.


For this reason, the AASM recommends that their sleep apps be used only in the daytime and early evening. Reading in bed should be strictly confined to good old-fashioned print books. At Sleep Junkies we couldn’t agree more!

The AASM’s free childrens’ apps are available now, for iOS, Android and Kindle devices.

Image from: The Animals Sleep: A Bedtime Book of Biomes © AASM

(Thanks to Anelise Newman at the SleepDr blog for the heads up on this story!)

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Jeff Mann

Jeff Mann is the founder and editor of Sleep Junkies. Get in touch at jeff [at]sleep junkies[dot]com

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