A Kids Book About: The Podcast

Katie Talks About Sleep

Episode Summary

Katie Pitts, author of A Kids Book About Sleep, talks about an amazing thing which helps us be the best version of ourselves.

Episode Notes

Katie Pitts, author of A Kids Book About Sleep, talks about an amazing thing which helps us be the best version of ourselves.

A Kids Book About Sleep (view book)

Full Book Description:

You may not know it yet, but sleep is awesome! Every living thing needs sleep: you, your grownup, your teacher, EVERYONE. Why? Sleep is when our brains and bodies rest and get stronger. Getting good sleep is how we stay healthy and are able to do all our favorite things. And here’s something extra special: sleep helps us be the best versions of ourselves with each new day. 

About the Author:

Katie Pitts (she/her) is the well-rested founder and CEO of Sleep Wise Consulting. After her newborn son showed her the effects of sleeplessness firsthand, Katie’s life mission became to educate, inform, and inspire people of all ages to experience the life-changing results of a good night’s sleep.

*If you want to be on a future episode of A Kids Book About: The Podcast or if you have a question you’d like us to consider, have a grownup email us at listen@akidsco.com and we’ll send you the details. 

Episode Transcription

A Kids Book About: The Podcast

Katie Talks About Sleep



Matthew: What happens when we sleep?

Julia: You get, the next day once you sleep you get more energy so you can play.

Katie: The way I like to best describe it is for you to think about your body as a battery. And as you start the day, you are a fully charged battery, ready to go. You're ready to run and jump and play and learn and talk with your friends and do all of the things that kids are supposed to do. And as you go throughout the day, that battery gets less and less and less until it's almost empty at nighttime. 

And so why do we sleep? Why is sleep important? Because that's the time when our battery fully recharges and powers up so that you can wake up the next day ready to go again.

Matthew: Welcome to A Kids Book About: The Podcast!  I’m Matthew. I’m a teacher, a librarian, and I’m your host. 

The voices you heard just a moment ago were from Julia and Katie. 

Each week we talk about the big things going on in your world with a different author from our A Kids Book About series. 

Katie: Hi, my name is Katie Pitts. I am the founder of Sleepwise Consulting and also a mom of two little boys who weren't always good sleepers. I am the author of A Kids Book About Sleep. 



Matthew: Hello, listeners! Today’s focus affects every single one of us. That makes this episode a little different, doesn’t it. Because… why do we need to talk about sleep? 

We all do it, right? I mean, sometimes we don't want to do it. Sometimes we’d rather not go to bed. Sometimes it feels like staying up to watch a show or talk to friends or play a game won’t affect our sleep or our ability to focus the next day. 

Good thing we have Katie here to help us. She’s an expert!

Katie: I really wanted to empower kids to think about sleep differently. I think it's very easy for sleep to become something that is fought about or something that just your grown ups make you do. And I don't want it to be that way. 

I want all kids to think about sleep as something that they get. to do and something that they have control over, right? Our grownups in our life tell us so many things; you have to brush your teeth and you have to take a shower and you have to this, this, and this.

What if sleep was something that you chose? And you chose how you've how you fall asleep and what that looks like? And you do that because you know how important it is. 

You absolutely have the power over your sleep. Your grownups can say, you have to go to bed at this time. But it's up to you on what happens when you're in bed. And I want you to feel confident in that.

Julia: Because if you didn't sleep, then you wouldn't have enough energy to do really easy things like go on walks and stuff. 

Matthew: You know? I had a feeling you knew a thing or two about sleep, Jules. Listeners, I am one of Julia’s grownups. And as her daddy, I can tell you we’ve had lots and lots of conversations around sleep throughout her almost nine years on this planet.

Julia, you’re on the right track! 

Katie: When we don't get enough sleep, we're not able to be the person that we fully can be. 

And so in the book, I use some examples, like, have you ever studied for a test and forgot an important answer that you knew that you knew? Or you got in a fight with a friend because you weren't feeling like yourself. I always give the example of my son, Andrew. He's nine years old, and he'll go, “Mom, I just don't feel like Andrew today” If he doesn't get enough sleep. 

And so sleep really helps you be the best version of you that you can be. It helps your body work like it's supposed to work. It helps you run as fast as you can run. It helps you, your brain work like it's supposed to work. To think of those answers on tests, to have those conversations with friends. It really just helps you be the best you that you can be. 

Matthew: So, if sleep is so important for our bodies and our minds, why do we ever look for ways to avoid sleep?

Katie: There's really two reasons for that, and you named one of them.

Sometimes it just seems like there's other funner things to do, right? I'd rather watch this show. I'd rather play with my toys. I'd rather play dress up with my clothes. I would rather run around and wrestle with dad. 

It can seem like there are other things that you'd rather do than slowing down to sleep.

Another reason, um, on, and this is grownups and kids alike on why sleep is hard is because sleep can be the time where worries start to come in. Worries throughout the day can make sleep feel really, really hard. And that's why in A Kids Book About Sleep, we talk about some strategies that you can do so that those worries don't stop you from falling asleep.

Matthew: Pause. I have a quick audience survey. Raise your hand if you like to stay up a little later to talk to your friends or play video games or watch a show or do an activity?

Okay. Mmmm. Hmmm. Thanks. Hands down. 

Now, raise your hand if you love sleep time. Maybe you look forward to how it feels to have a good night’s rest? Maybe you enjoy time winding down and the way it feels to wake up the next morning rested.

Ah ha. Oh good. I like to see that you each have different preferences when it comes to sleep.



Katie: Absolutely. I, for example, love sleep. Bedtime is one of my favorite times of the day. It's a time that's just for me. I can get in my bed. I can feel warm. I can feel cozy. I can feel proud of what I did throughout the day. And I can just rest because I know that's what my body needs to show up the best version of me tomorrow.

Some kids, some grown ups, they feel that same way, but not everybody does. We live in a world that really likes us to go, go, go, and do more, and do more things, and make sure you're the star on this soccer team, and that you do all of these dance recitals, and that you are just busy, busy, busy, busy accomplishing things instead of resting. And for kids and grown ups, sometimes that can really interfere with us getting the sleep that we really know that we should be getting.

Matthew: Hey Jules? Do you like to sleep?

Julia: Yes, I do cause sometimes if you sleep you have really good dreams. 

Matthew: I love that.

Let’s take a quick break. And when we return, Katie will share how she feels about sleep and strategies to help us all get a better sleep tonight and every night. 

Katie: Thinking about sleep makes me feel warm, cozy, and loved.

It's something that I do for myself as a form of self care, as a way to take care of myself. And a big reason why is that I know without sleep, I don't show up as my best self. I'm not the best mom that I can be to my little guys. I'm not the best business owner that I can be to my team members. And so I know that when I take care of myself this way, I can really show up for others. And that just makes me feel warm inside. 

Matthew: We’ll be back in just a moment.



Matthew: Welcome back.

Today on the podcast we’re talking about sleep with A Kids Book About author Katie Pitts.

Katie shares some really helpful sleep strategies throughout A Kids Book About Sleep: 

“1. Focus on taking some deep breaths. 

2. Try taking an imagination vacation. 

3. Try using a mantra.”

I asked if she’d be willing to walk us through each of these. At this point, you may want to make sure any grownups nearby are also listening. As a grownup, I found these strategies really helpful for me, too!

Katie: Absolutely. So one strategy that you can try at bedtime to make falling asleep feel a little easier is to focus on taking deep breaths. 

Now, when I have said this in the past, kids will go, right? That's not what you want to do. And so I want you to think about either blowing really big bubbles, or blowing out a candle on a birthday cake. And you're just gonna fill your stomach up with air, a nice calm [breath in], and then slowly blow it out. So if you're imagining blowing out a bubble, think about what would happen if you blow out really fast. That bubble's going to pop, right? You want to blow out nice and slow and controlled. 

And repeat that over and over. Because what that does is it calms your body. All the little systems and everything inside your body that are working the way it's supposed to do. When you breathe, Deeply, it automatically will calm and bring you down, which is great because that's what you need to do in order to fall asleep.

So that's one strategy. 

Another strategy is taking an imagination vacation. So we talked a little bit about worries coming in at bedtime. And when we go to lay in bed, we think about everything throughout the day, some good, some not so great things we have to do, things that we're nervous about. Maybe you've gotten in a fight or an argument with your grownup and you're thinking about that. That's going to come up at bedtime. And so taking an imagination vacation is a great way to bring some calm and happiness and peace to bedtime so that you can fall asleep well. 

And so I just want you to think if you could take any vacation you want in the whole entire world, where would you go? Who would go with you? What does it look like there? What does it smell like? What does it sound like? What feelings are you having? And really start to play that out in your mind.

And more often than not, when I work with kids, they're telling me, “Oh, I only got to this part of thinking about my vacation, and I fell asleep.”

And a bonus with that one is sometimes the imagination vacation will go into your dreams as well, which can be pretty fun. 

The third thing that you can do to try to fall asleep is to use a mantra. Once again, this is going to help if you have those worries in your head. If you're thinking about things and you feel your body getting tight. Or you feel you're starting to get anxious or nervous or worried, then if you focus on a mantra, that's going to help calm your body, calm your brain to sleep. 

The great thing is this can be anything you want. I've given a few suggestions in the book such as “I am safe”, “I am cozy”, “I am loved”. Those are all great ones or you can create your own. There's been a lot of kids I work with who come up with really creative ones that are special to them and it's going to help them fall asleep again with that happy, warm, cozy feeling.

Matthew: Our time’s almost up. I’m about to send you back out into the world. So let’s take a moment to remind ourselves of the value and benefit of sleep, not just for us, but for everyone in our lives. 

Katie, are there any actions we, the listeners, can take to help ourselves or our siblings or family members get a good night’s sleep?

Katie: I think one thing that is really fun to get the whole family involved is creating bedtime routines. Bedtime routines are important for everyone. Whether you have a younger brother or sister, older brother and sister, or even just for your grownups in your life, a bedtime routine is going to set you up to sleep really well. 

And so you, the kid, can absolutely be in charge of this and call a family meeting and talk about what do you want your bedtime routine to look like? What are three things that you can do before bed that will help calm your brain, your body? 

Some suggestions are playing a family game, doing a puzzle, baths or showers, reading a book. You just want it to be something that doesn't involve a screen. Screen time is for earlier in the day. Screen time too close to bed. It's going to make it a little harder to fall asleep. 

Fill it with things that you enjoy, things that make you happy, and get your whole family involved. That will make a big difference in you falling asleep at night.

Matthew: Listeners, (and I mean all of you, kids, big kids, grownups, grand grownups) I hope you could feel today just how much Katie is on your side in getting that good night’s sleep your body needs.

Katie: I just want all the kids listening to know whether you are five years old, whether you are eight years old, whether you are 16 years old, or maybe your grown up's listening with you and they're 45 years old. It's never, ever, ever too late to start sleeping well. You absolutely can sleep well. Everyone in your life can. And it makes a really big difference for you living a really full life. 



Matthew: Thank you to Katie Pitts, author of A Kids Book About Sleep, for joining us today. And special thanks to Julia for lending their voice to this episode.

Julia: Hi, my name is Julia. I'm 8 years old and I live in Maryland. My favorite thing is probably my family. 

Matthew: A Kids Book About: The Podcast is written, edited, and produced by me, Matthew Winner. Our executive producer is Jelani Memory. 

And this show was brought to you by A Kids Co. 

Follow the show wherever podcasts are found and check out other podcasts made for kids just like you by visiting akidsco.com.