Top 10 Bedtime Stories Revealed

Top 10 Bedtime Stories Revealed

What's your child's favourite bedtime story?

Classic children’s book, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, is the bedtime story most likely to help your kids fall asleep, according to research by Time 4 Sleep. The book, which was first published in 1969, has maintained its popularity for more than 40 years, and is accompanied in the top three by Harry Potter (first published 1997) and other classic favourites such as The BFG (1982) and Goodnight Moon (1947).

Based on the study, these are the top 10 stories every parent should be reading to their child at bedtime:

1. The Very Hungry Caterpillar (1969)
2. Harry Potter (1997)
3. The BFG (1982)
4. Goodnight Moon (1947)
5. The Gruffalo (1999)
6. Winnie the Pooh (1926)
7. Llama Llama Red Pyjama (2005)
8. Where the Wild Things are (1963)
9. Guess How Much I Love You (1994)
10. The Cat in the Hat (1957)

According to one in three parents (33%), the most important benefit of reading to children at bedtime is to spend quality time together. Over a fifth of parents (21%) feel it helps to settle their child down before bed and a further 14% feel that the main benefit is to educate their child. More than half (54%) of parents also believe that reading to their children before bed is the most important part of their child’s nightly routine and 43% said that they read to their child most nights.

Dipti Tait, Hypnotherapist and Author, said:

“Children respond well to routine and familiarity. Bedtime doesn’t have to be regimented and orderly, but if a child senses consistency, then the routine can be a reassuring concept and keep them feeling comfortable, calm and happy.

“Storytelling is very important for the brain too. The brain, regardless of age, enjoys a good story as it activates our imagination. When we begin reading tales of adventure, fantasy and mystery to our children, this creates a positive pathway for the brain to follow. Once we drop into sleep, the brain naturally falls into REM, the dream state, so quite often the storytelling helps the child begin the REM process and often encourages sleepiness. A simple 10-15 minutes of this down time can have powerful and beneficial calming effects on our mental wellbeing.”

We'd love to know which bedtime stories are highest-ranking in your house. Do your little ones have an all-time favourite bedtime story? Do they go for the classics, like the books on this list, or do they prefer something more modern? And which is your favourite bedtime story to read to your child? Leave us a comment here or come and join the conversation over on our Facebook page.

For more information about the importance of a bedtime routine, you can check out Time 4 Sleep here:


  • Lizzie W.

    8/10 of them read 100's of times to my children and grandson

  • Ashlea M.

    haha. You are amazing parents! X

  • Michelle R.

    I have read 'Starting school' every night for 5 weeks solid now lol

  • Sinèad H.

    I’m reading Matilda at the moment with my daughter, we are down to the last chapter. She wants the BFG next :smiley:

  • Dusty M.

    u will have lots this weekend to do :innocent::heart_eyes:

  • Heather S.

    we never get to read these at bedtime Thomas or Thomas!!

  • Sam C.

    My little one is 2 years old, so we're not quite at matilda stage yet. She loves the In The Night Garden Bedtime Book and Goodnight Peppa. I know them both off by heart, she loves books :heart_eyes:

  • Andrea J.

    Beep Beep Time for Sleep is an absolute winner with my 2 yr old son at the moment. Perfect calming language for bedtime but full of heavy duty vehicles, which he loves :blush:

  • Lisa N.

    One Ted fell out of bed was a favourite with all my children. We like to get books from the library and read something different as we finish each one.

  • Alison M.

    just keep reading as soon enough she will be reading to you

  • Paula L.

    It's got to be 'Always there bear' for my grandchildren.

    • Becky E.

      We've not read that for a while actually, might have to make an appearance for tomorrow night xx

  • Kim W.

    Solomon daughter's favourite before bed :)

  • Jennie B.

    My daughter is obsessed with 'not me said the monkey' she even quotes it when I ask her things

  • Mandy M.

    Snail and the whale! So good

  • Vikki T.

    Theres a monster in my book by tom fletcher. 2 year old isnt scared of monsters now! :thumbsup:

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