Teach your kids to love sleep | Children’s Author and sleep specialist interview

| |

I’ve always thought I hit the jackpot when it came to my daughter’s sleep. That is, until she decided otherwise. And now it feels like all our intentions and routines are out the window. Not to mention, those precious couple of hours we got to ourselves at the end of the day. 

But instead of trying a hundred new different strategies, maybe a good place to start is to teach your kids to love sleep. Teach them what sleep does for their growing minds and bodies. 

Turns out, sleep problems are fairly common among both adults and children, and one special author wanted to give us exactly what we needed with “Devin & Evan Sleep From 8-7”. 

Often children aren’t taught, neither at home and at school, why sleep is so important. The author and family sleep specialist, Dr. Whitney Roban, knows that the first step to a well rested family is for parents and children to understand WHY they need to sleep. 

(She’ll also share another great book for older kids, why a kid’s sleep mask could be your answer, and her new curriculum to solve your child’s sleep problems… as well as yours!) 

Here’s what else she has to say: 

pinterest-teach kids about sleep (1)
Please help us share these great books with other families!

Tell us a little bit about your book: 

Devin & Evan are identical twins who are similar in every way, except Devin is a great sleeper and Evan is a terrible sleeper. Follow these brothers as they learn why sleep is so important for their physical health, emotional well being, behavior, and success at school. 

This rhyming picture storybook uses examples from children’s every day lives to teach them how they will be happier and healthier if they just get good sleep at night.

This book will help families who have children struggling with:

  • following sleep rules at bedtime 
  • waking in the middle of the night 
  • rising too early in the morning
  • refusing to nap
  • sleeping alone at night
  • sleeping in their own bed
  • refusing to go to sleep

This unique sleep book for kids teaches children why it’s important to stay in their beds and sleep all night long. Children will stop fighting sleep, will fall asleep quickly and easily, they will accept new healthy sleep habits, and will learn to love getting great sleep. 

This book provides the help and solutions families need to end their sleep deprivation and to solve their sleep problems once and for all.

Devin & Evan Sleep From 8-7 Cover Photo
Available on Amazon and Amazon Canada

Who were you before becoming an author?

I have my Ph.D. in Clinical and School Psychology. Before devoting my professional career to solving sleep problems, I spent some time during my early professional years working as a creator and author of psycho-educational products for teachers, parents, and mental health professionals to use when working with children. 

I loved that time in my career, as it let me unleash my inner creativity, which is something that psychologists don’t normally get to do. Many years later, after practicing as a Family Sleep Specialist, I realized that there were no sleep books in the marketplace that spoke directly to children about the importance of sleep. 

There were so many books devoted to helping parents get their children to sleep, but as I saw in my practice, the first step to success in helping children with their sleep problems was teaching children directly WHY sleep is so important. You cannot expect children to prioritize sleep if they don’t understand and respect the importance of sleep.

What was your favorite part of writing?

Telling my story in rhyme. I find traditional writing a little arduous, but writing in rhyme is very stimulating and exciting for me. I find the challenge in telling a story in rhyme to be motivating and a lot of fun.

What do you think kids and parents will love about it?

Parents love the book because it actually helps solve sleep problems in the home. This was not a surprise to me, as sleep problems are very disruptive to family life. What I did find more surprising was how much the kids love the book. 

I spend a lot of time in classrooms (and now, virtually) reading my books to students and doing healthy sleep workshops for students, teachers, parents and school staff. To this day, I still get so happy to see the students so enthusiastic about the topic of sleep. 

Children had never been taught, at home nor at school, about the importance of sleep and how to adopt healthy sleep habits into their lives. Yet, sleep is  something we all have to do everyday, and it is an integral part of our lives. Therefore, when a sleep expert such as myself is brought into the school (in-person or virtually) to educate about healthy sleep, it is a novel topic for the children to discuss and one that kids can not only relate to, but have a strong desire to improve upon. 

The teachers are also always surprised at how much focus and enthusiasm the students have for the topic, as well as how desperate the children are to fix their sleep problems. Now, with the book Devin & Evan Sleep From 8-7, children have a fun, engaging, and relatable way to learn about the importance of sleep which speaks directly to them.

Is there a part in the book that your own kids love? 

The children love that they could relate to the examples I chose from their everyday lives, such as trying out for the basketball team, or doing well in school, to bring home the theme about the importance of sleep. 

My own kids are both teenagers (15 years old and 18 years old). They both understand and respect the importance of sleep since they were little, as they grew up with a mom who is also a sleep specialist. 

They helped me come up with the idea of using twins as my main characters, as well as the characters name. I used the basketball example in the book because my younger son is a basketball player and understands how important sleep is to his game. I ran every paragraph by my kids to get feedback from a youthful perspective.

What kind of reactions have you received? 

The book started out on the Amazon’s best seller list in the Parenting Category. It also won the 5 start Reader’s Choice Award. Those accolades are great for sales, but the reactions I value the most are the positive ones I get from the students during the book readings and workshops, as well as the positive feedback from the parents and teachers.

Is there a message or a movement you want to send out into the world?

My personal and professional mission is to end the epidemic of sleep deprivation in the world by solving children and adult sleep problems. Hence, the name of my company, Solve Our Sleep. During this global pandemic, sleep is now more important than ever. The road to sleep success is to start with sleep education (the importance of sleep, as well as the negative effects of sleep deprivation and the positive effects of healthy sleep), and then provide sleep support for individual sleep problems. 

This is how we will all not only survive, but thrive, in life’s journey.

What’s next for you?

Not soon after the first book, I wrote a follow-up book titled “Devin & Evan Play Fortnite ’Til 11”. 

Here is the amazon description of that book:

One day, life as they knew it, 

Was to be turned upside down. 

They were told about the Fortnite craze, 

When their friend Jack came around. 

That night they played ’til 11 p.m., 

They had already become obsessed. 

When asked if they stayed up too late, 

Neither Devin nor Evan confessed. 

Devin & Evan Play Fortnite Til 11
Available on Amazon and Amazon Canada

The follow up to the book “Devin & Evan Sleep from 8-7”, identical twins Devin & Evan need to be reminded why sleep is important after they discover the popular video game Fortnite. As the gaming craze takes hold of their lives, so does sleep deprivation. This rhyming picture storybook uses a familiar theme in many families’ lives, video games, to teach children how they will be happier and healthier if they just get good sleep at night. 

This book will help families who have children struggling with: 

  • following sleep rules at bedtime 
  • going to sleep too late at night 
  • refusing to go to sleep 
  • waking in the middle of the night 
  • rising too early in the morning 
  • excessive use of electronics and video games 

Often children aren’t taught, neither at home nor at school, why sleep is so important. The author and family sleep specialist, Dr. Whitney Roban, knows that the first step to a well-rested family is for parents and children to understand WHY they need to sleep. This unique sleep book for kids teaches children why it’s important to go to bed early and sleep all night long. Children will stop staying up too late, decrease their use of electronics, fall asleep quickly and easily, accept new healthy sleep habits, and will learn to love getting great sleep. This book provides the help and solutions families need to end their sleep deprivation and to solve their sleep problems once and for all.

Also… 

After spending time in classrooms reading my books and doing sleep workshops in the schools for students and parents, I created the first ever Dr. Roban’s Healthy Sleep School Curriculum, which is being used in primary and secondary schools around the country. I have most recently launched a line of customized sleep masks to aid in acquiring healthy sleep. These Solve Our Sleep Masks are 100% silk, dark, and comfortable. They can be customized with any text and colors. 

  • College students are using these sleep masks to get better sleep on campus. 
  • Schools are using these sleep masks as school fundraisers to support student physical and mental health. 
  • Adults are using the sleep masks to aid in their quest to cure insomnia and get better sleep at night.

I guess it’s true that sleep problems are fairly common for both adults and children. Thank you Dr. Whitney Roban for your great books, your curriculum, and for your adults’ and kids’ sleep masks. 

These books about sleep can be bought here:

Devin & Evan Play Fortnite Til 11
Available on Amazon and Amazon Canada
Devin & Evan Sleep From 8-7 Cover Photo
Available on Amazon and Amazon Canada

Previous

One of the best thanksgiving books and traditions! Interview with author of Gracious Gobbler.

“I Will Always Love You” – interview with children’s author about moving through grief

Next