Another Reason Not to Skip Storytime

A mom and daughter reading in a bedsheet tent.
Yuganov Konstantin/Shutterstock

It’s no secret that kids love storytime. According to a new study, though, the practice could also reduce their stress levels.

A recent study analyzed 81 children ages 2-7 at a hospital where they were being treated for asthma, bronchitis, or pneumonia. Of the 81, half of them listened to bedtime stories for 30 minutes, while the other half listened to riddles for 30 minutes.

Using saliva samples to measure hormones, exams, and a word association game, researchers found that cortisol levels decreased and oxytocin increased in both groups. However, the bedtime story group had double the positive results.

Dr. Jorge Moll Neto, a co-author of the study, said that this could significantly affect multiple public sectors and the way that hospitals interact with young patients to help them get well.

Previous research has already shown that a regular storytime improves kids’ vocabulary and enhances the areas of the brain responsible for visual imagery and comprehension.

In addition to the implications for improved hospital care, this new study just provides one more reason why it’s so important to make time to read to (and with) your kids.

[Via Martha Stewart]

Shea Simmons Shea Simmons
Shea Simmons is an Atlanta-based writer who has written about everything from whether Crisco is a good moisturizer to how to KonMari your space. Her work has appeared in Bustle, My First Apartment, and Make It Grateful. Read Full Bio »

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