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New audio play created to help children get a good night’s sleep

tutti frutti sweet dreams logo
21 July 2021

The Sheffield Children’s Sleep Service has helped a Yorkshire based theatre company create an audio play for children about the wonders and benefits of sleep.

Sleep Service nurse practitioners and clinical specialists worked with production company tutti frutti to provide an insight into sleep and help create a brand new audio play ‘Sweet Dreams’ for children and families.

Creatives and clinicians worked together to look at the various elements around sleep such as the different issues young people can face and the suggested techniques to get better sleep. The production team also attended sleep clinics which support families experiencing sleep challenges. This all fed into the creative process to build the audio play for children aged 3 and over.

The 30 minute audio play, which was adapted into a virtual play due to the COVID-19 pandemic, follows the interstellar adventures of Ivy and her toy rabbit, Bun Bun. You can find out more and listen to the play on the tutti frutti website.

Professor Heather Elphick, Consultant in Paediatric Respiratory and Sleep Medicine at Sheffield Children’s, said: “It was fantastic to be part of a creative process which will help lots of children and their families get a better sleep! Thank you to tutti frutti for bringing the learning from clinicians, the Sleep Charity, and everyone else to create a lovely play that everyone can enjoy and learn from!” tutti frutti sweet dreams poster

The Sheffield Children’s Sleep Service is one of just a few paediatric sleep services in the UK. The team investigates and provides advice and treatment for conditions such as obstructive sleep apnoea, narcolepsy, severe sleep walking, night terrors or unexplained nocturnal events and severe sleep disturbance.

The service also works closely with The Sleep Charity to support families, who have also supported the production of the Sweet Dreams play.

Alongside the audio play, the tutti frutti team have also created a digital game for children called ‘Sleep Time Karting’. The game has been developed to find out about the audiences sleep behaviour to support sleep research at Sheffield Children’s. The game includes five multiple choice survey questions about a child’s sleep routines. This anonymised data, , will help provide an insight into sleep routines for research at Sheffield Children’s, which in turn will help children and their families with sleep conditions and sleep problems.

Wendy Harris, Artistic Director at tutti frutti, said: “So many people came together to create Sweet Dreams and it was a privilege to work with such diverse partners, artists, academics and professionals. Thank you to Sheffield Children’s for welcoming us into the world of the sleep service back in 2019!

“The content is available to listen to for free and we want to encourage as many children, families and teachers to listen to the play and the podcasts and help further research by playing our sleep time karting game! We do hope you all get a great night’s sleep!”

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