Bedtime story

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A father reading his daughter a bedtime story: Madeline, by Ludwig Bemelmans

A bedtime story is a traditional form of storytelling, where a story is told to a child at bedtime to prepare the child for sleep.

Bedtime stories have many advantages, for parents/adults and children alike. The fixed routine of a bedtime story before sleeping has a relaxing effect, and the soothing voice of a person telling a story allows for a calm atmosphere in which the child can fall asleep more easily. The emotional aspect creates a bond between the storyteller and the listener, often a parent and child.

Bedtime stories can be read from a book, or may be invented by the storyteller. The stories tend to be short, with a happy ending. A different form of bedtime reading uses longer stories, but divides them up, thus creating cliffhangers. Children will look forward to their bedtime story, and a fixed routine is installed.