by John Riggio
Sleep is one of those things many of us probably aren't getting enough of, but which is so critical to a healthy, well-balanced life. This song was written in the hopes that your youngsters will come to understand and appreciate the need for sleep.
The very nature of the song lends itself to a child's bedroom scene. If you have the means, dim the lights or use blue lights to indicate nighttime. A spotlight falls on a little child wearing her pajamas and slippers, holding a teddy bear or other stuffed animal, standing at center stage. She sings until measure 23. As the full chorus comes in, she walks over to her bed, fluffs up her pillow, pulls the covers up and dozes off. Meanwhile, across the stage we see an illuminated chorus of children singing.
At measure 41, the chorus begins to sing "Deep sleep, REM sleep" over and over. One at a time, three narrators will leave the chorus and move up front to give their narration (see the lyric page). After each one speaks, they return to the chorus. At the end of the song, our young soloist sits up in bed to sing her last line - "Bedtime is upon me. Time to sleep." She lies back down and dozes off again.
While it certainly isn't necessary, it might be possible to incorporate a slide show showing the students being active, playing sports, laughing, working at a chalkboard, etc., beginning at the repeat of measure 9. It's as if to say, these activities are better, more fun, of a higher quality if you're actually awake to enjoy them! This may be too grand in scope, but we want to give you ideas to create an effective presentation for an important part of living.
Recommended reading: "Remmy and the Brain Train" by Dr. James B. Maas. This is a delightful book that explains to children why we need to get a good night's sleep, and offers helpful "sleep tips" to ensure we get the most out of our sleep time. This book also comes with a music CD for kids to read along or sing along with the book.
Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.