9 Picture Books for National Sleep Awareness Month


Sleep can be a wonderful thing. I, for one, wish I had more of it. However, for some, bedtime can lead to many different things than a cozy bed: extreme fear of the dark, insomnia, restlessness, or fear of missing out. Young children are especially vulnerable to dreading bedtime despite needing more sleep than adults. Help the young reader in your life learn the importance of sleep, overcome common sleep fears, and establish a healthy bedtime routine in honor of National Sleep Awareness Month with the helpful picture books listed below. 

A Bedtime Yarn written by Nicola Winstanley and illustrated by Olivia Chin Mueller

“Frankie saw that no matter how far away he floated in his dreams, this blanket, like a magic carpet, would always bring him back to his own little bed.”

Frankie the bear is scared of going to sleep and worries that he won’t wake up in the morning. To help him feel safe, his mom gives him a ball of yarn to hold and anchor him to his bed. The yarn takes him on far-away adventures in his dreams that vary based on the yarn’s color. Meanwhile, his mom offers him a secret surprise once he no longer needs the yarn. A Bedtime Yarn is perfect for readers who are scared about going to sleep and want to learn how to feel safe. Frankie’s fun dream adventures can also provide some whimsical dream ideas for readers!

Everybody Sleeps (But Not Fred) written and illustrated by Josh Schneider

“But please, for now don’t make a peep. Just close the book and let Fred sleep.”

Fred has too important of a to-do list to sleep—he has a shouting record to break and karate to practice. However, after visiting animals everywhere, from the farm to the jungle, it becomes clear that all living creatures must sleep, including Fred. Everybody Sleeps (But Not Fred) is a good read for children who are too excited for the next day to sleep. The story shows that the world will still be there when you wake up. Kids and parents alike will also find the accompanying illustrations hilarious!

Good Night, Body: Finding Calm from Head to Toe written by Britney Winn Lee and illustrated by Borghild Fallberg 

“I love to give you rest at the end of another day!”

Good Night, Body: Finding Calm from Head to Toe encourages readers to think about their bodies and appreciate all the hard work they put in during the day. The story emphasizes giving your body what it needs for sleep in a meditation called body scanning. The steps are easy and approachable for children and could be read out loud by an adult for the child to follow along to prepare for sleep. This is the perfect read for little ones who have difficulty calming down for sleep to get some needed ZZZs. 

Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site written by Sherri Duskey Rinker and illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld

“Construction site, all tucked in tight, the day is done, turn off the light.”

Even the hard-working construction crew has to sleep! Follow each member’s bedtime routine that touches on their unique abilities, including Excavator, Crane, Cement Mixer, Bulldozer, and more. Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site emphasizes how the fun you have during the day will still be there when you wake up, and everything must rest. The construction theme should appeal to many readers, along with the fun storyline. 

Good Night Yoga: A Pose-by-Pose Bedtime Story written by Mariam Gates and illustrated by Sarah Jane Hinder 

“‘Goodnight world.’ You’ll be dreaming soon.”

Good Night Yoga: A Pose-by-Pose Bedtime Story introduces a new bedtime routine that helps children be more relaxed, calm, and mindful before bed. The story walks readers through the good night yoga flow with fun and easy yoga poses that allow kids to soar like a bird, stretch like a cat, and so much more. I also appreciate the inclusion of cloud journey visualization at the end. If you are looking for a way to make your children’s bedtime routine more engaging or want to try something new, pick up Good Night Yoga: A Pose-by-Pose Bedtime Story for simple, thoughtful movements before bed. 

How to Sleep Tight through the Night: Bedtime Tricks (That Really Work!) for Kids written by Lesléa Newman & Tzivia Gover and illustrated by Vivian Mineker 

“Luckily, you can get better at sleep.”

How to Sleep Tight through the Night: Bedtime Tricks (That Really Work!) for Kids helps to make going to bed fun and enjoyable. The picture book offers numerous tips and tricks to fall asleep and look forward to bedtime each night. The story also tackles ways to combat a fear of the dark and nightmares. Readers will especially love the adorable, eye-catching illustrations. I also appreciate that the book discusses why sleep is so important, particularly for children. For tips on how to have a better bedtime or fun sleep-themed craft ideas, don’t miss How to Sleep Tight through the Night: Bedtime Tricks (That Really Work!) for Kids. 

Rest to Recharge: A Story about the Importance of Sleep written by Jennifer Law and Brian Martin

“Sleep recharges your body’s batteries.”

Gabe used to think that sleep was a waste of time. At night, he played video games and watched videos instead of sleeping, but then he discovered that he was sleepy and irritable the next day. Luckily, his mom and Buzz the magic alarm clock help Gabe learn the importance of sleep and establish a healthy bedtime routine. Readers learn not only that sleep helps your brain work better and allows your body to grow but also that it makes you feel better and be happier. The tips at the end of the book are also an excellent resource for parents. If you have a child who is unsure of why they need to sleep, show them Gabe’s journey to learn why they need to charge their batteries every night. 

Sleep Like a Tiger written by Mary Logue and illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski 

“And like the strong tiger, fell fast…asleep.”

The princess doesn’t understand the importance of sleep, so her parents tell her that she can stay awake all night long but must get ready for bed first. Once tucked in, they tell her about the sleeping habits of various types of animals, stressing how each animal must sleep in order to stay strong. In the end, the princess is inspired by the animals and quickly falls deep asleep. Sleep Like a Tiger is a fantastic resource for showing children that sleep is a necessary biological need for all living things—even them!

The King Who Banned the Dark written and illustrated by Emily Haworth-Booth 

“He decided that when he became king, he would do something about the dark. He would ban it.”

The King Who Banned the Dark is for anyone who is scared of the dark and wishes it would go away for good. After lobbying the town, the king eventually gets his wish to ban the dark. He installs a ginormous artificial sun above the city and mandates that residents must keep their lights on indefinitely. However, people quickly grow tired and have trouble sleeping with so much light. The town devises a plan to bring the dark back in order to get some much-needed rest. I really like that The King Who Banned the Dark is not only a story about the importance of sleep but also one about challenging impractical mandates put in place by authority figures. Read The King Who Banned the Dark for the cute storyline and impactful message. 

Emilee Ceuninck, Pine Reads Review Lead Writer & Editor