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Interview with Helena Kubicek Boye, author of "The mystery of the lost sleep"

Helena Kubicek Boye and John Cleese Saga Sleep bedtime story

Helena Kubicek Boye is a Swedish psychologist, sleep expert, TEDx speaker, and a well-known author of fiction and non-fiction. She is also Stella's resident sleep expert! This is what Helena had to say about having her story "The mystery of the lost sleep", written especially for Stella, voiced by John Cleese, of Monthy Python, Fawlty Towers and Harry Potter-fame.

What was your creative process behind writing "The mystery of the lost sleep"? What was your inspiration?

First I had no idea what to write! I tried to write several other stories before this one, but none of them felt like the right one for Mr Cleese and Stella. I actually had to put my running shoes on and run for an hour among the fields where I live, before it came to me. Then I wrote it in two hours. This story summarises all my knowledge and experience.

John Cleese is a living legend - what do you think of his reading of your story?

Fantastic. He is the dream voice. I knew from the start that this would be something great for children all over the world to listen to. My mission is to help people sleep better, and with Mr John Cleese reading this sleep story I feel we can achieve this goal.

Your story is one of the most in-demand in the Stella app, why do you think it helps children fall asleep?

The story is universal. The narrative and structure has a higher focus and intensity in the beginning to catch the child's attention. After this, it slows down and through the story allows the child to practice sleep techniques to fall asleep. I used metods from CBT and relaxing techniques.

This story is about how the whole world manages to lose the ability to fall asleep through bad habits. Which are the most common habits that disrupt sleep in kids?

Stress from everyday life, using digital devices too late in the evening, little or no sleep preparation. I also think sugar and sometimes spending too much time sitting still during the day makes it hard to wind down. Sleep is a result of how your day has been - and this is also true for children.

Through a wise man, the world eventually regains the ability to sleep, and all ends well. What do you think are the most useful tips for teaching children how to fall asleep?

Value and prioritise sleep. Make sure you have the same routines almost every day, such as going to bed at the same time every day. Put screens away 1-2 hours before sleep.

At Stella we greatly value Helena's knowledge and experience! We take sleep science very seriously, and only offer evidence-based advice and tips. If you want to know more about sleep science, bedtime routines, sleep hygiene and the content that we offer, download the Stella app today and listen to the parental guide episodes in the app!