Zero's Design Supports Best Sleep Practices
Sleep experts and psychologists have spent years determining best practices when trying to enhance children’s sleep. We researched these best practices and implemented best practices into Zero’s construction, and his story.
When I first started researching good sleep patterns to help Emma with this project, I realized that she had tapped into something that has warranted many studies. There is some proof that if someone believes they can control their dreams, they can. (There’s a whole concept behind this called lucid dreaming if you’re interested!) We used that information, and information from other psychological studies on sleep, to direct our doll’s design.
Here are some of the ways we’ve done that:
If a child believes they have the power to control their dreams, they often can. By empowering them, they feel more confidence and less fear. Our whole book revolves around the idea that Zero the Dream Hero is handing over the power (through the mask) to the child, so they can be their own dream hero. Throughout the book we emphasize the child’s power to control their dreams, that they have power, and now they are a hero too.
Studies show that a consistent bed routine improves children’s sleep. We started a ritual in our family with the nightmare protector. Together, we come up with an idea for the dream for the night. It’s so fun, we really let our imaginations go wild! Then, Olivia places the mask over her head and we say the dream out loud. I say “Sweet Dreams” to her, then leave and turn out the light. It’s our ritual every single night. This ritual is repeated in the book, helping families create their own bedtime ritual around good dreams!
Sleep experts recommend a transition object that children can take from play to bed with them. It should be comforting. We paid attention to this while choosing the fabrics for our doll. In fact, our designer pointed out that she specifically sought out fabrics that were soft as a bunny’s nose, so Zero would feel so cuddly. Everything about him, from his weight to height to shape is designed to appeal to children, be extremely comforting, and help them feel safe.
We frequently hear the negative effects electronics and blue light are having on our sleep these days. We specifically designed Zero with no lights, electronics, batteries, or anything that would “wake-up” the brain right before sleep. However, Zero has a small patch of glow in the dark thread on his chest emblem to provide comfort if a child wakes up in the dark and is looking for him.
These are just a few of the ways we ensured Zero’s construction and story would support recommendations from sleep experts.