CBeebies Bedtime Story - Helping with sleep

The best programme for playing through a bedroom wall

Added on Sunday 31 January 16

Every Night CBeebies (the BBC channel for younger kids) reads a bedtime story as the last show of the day. It’s often read by a famous person.

That’s how I discovered the programme. I saw a tweet from the CBeebies ‘grown ups’ Twitter account promoting a story read by Simon Pegg. I set it to record.

This review focuses not on the bedtime story as a thing in isolation but instead as part of a larger routine.


I need help to have a good evening and to be able to relax at home. Left at home alone, the pressure results in a panic attack. I run out of energy too fight the anxiety I get overloaded and it goes wrong.

I can’t be alone for more than a few hours or the pressure gets to me. In order to help, someone is always at my flat between 7pm and 8am or so.

My friends used to visit, buts it’s hard for them to find the time so we found a babysitter to help out.

She visits from 6-9pm Sunday to Friday.

She is great. She’s an expert in autism. She has helped me develop a routine and I have never had more restful and productive evenings. She guides me through the routine.

One of the ongoing challenges is that I am extremely shy. So much so when she visits I hide in my bedroom. As leaving my room brings on massive amounts of anxiety. Pushing to hard results in a panic attack.

To combat this, we started looking at ways to share the flat without triggering the shyness. I am working through the shyness very slowly.

For example, we installed a child gate so I could have my bedroom door open when she visited but still feel safe.

The babysitter started playing the TV loudly. So I could hear it in my bedroom. We can then listen to a programme together.

I am now trying, ever so slightly to get a little closer to the lounge. I can sometimes on an exceptionally good day sit in the hallway while we listen to a show together.

The show we listen too is always CBeebies bedtime story.

Why the bedtime story works well.

The bedtime story works well for many reasons.

I normally listen to them as the last thing before bed. So its calm and gentle tone is very fitting. I have come to associate the end theme of In the Night Garden and bedtime soon with sleep. So much so, I play those songs when I want to nap.

Because the language is clear and simple I can understand it even though I’m hearing it through a wall when I am tired.

The narratives are simple and the stories are short. We listen together and then discuss the story.

This simplicity makes it accessible to me. Even if I am bordering on having a panic attack and struggling to understand speech.

If I need to calm down, hopping into my bed. Hiding under the duvet and playing a bedtime story or two is perfect.

I have recorded many episodes and we listen to 3-4 a night. It’s the last part of my routine.

In summery, the bedtime story works well for me because it is:

  • Clearly spoken
  • Calm relaxing tone
  • Fun / funny
  • Simple and easy to understand.
  • Short and easy to follow

This may be true for other people autistic or not. Its fun, I would encourage everyone to try it sometime.

I’m not the target for the bedtime story programme. But it’s characteristics make it the perfect fit for my bedtime routine. It has immense value to me and I am really proud that the BBC invests in making such a high quality well produced show.

I work for the BBC but I have no connection with the bedtime stories team. This review is entirely my own thoughts and opinions


Spaced Out & Smiling is about exploring the fun side of Autism, and trying to understand what it means to be Autistically Happy.

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