PORTLAND -- Is a bedtime story each night a priority in your house?

A recent Harris poll shows only one in three parents read a bedtime story to their children every evening.

Everyone s so busy with all the technology. You don t go home anymore and leave your work, said Legacy Pediatrician Dr. Heather Larson.

Larson recommended at least 10 minutes of reading per night as part of the bedtime routine.

Children will get more sleep that way because they learn to calm their bodies, she said.

Mom Micah Werner is a Wonder Woman when it comes to reading to her two superhero sons.

We read three books each night. It s individual time to unwind, Werner said.

Hearing a parent read grows a child s vocabulary, teaches them to comprehend and helps them develop a love of reading, according to Portland-area reading specialist Barbara Steinberg.

If you are going to do anything for your children in the first five years to grow them intellectually, it should be sitting down and reading to them, she said.

Steinberg said chapter books can be read to children as young as five and will keep them asking for more as they wonder what will happen in the story from day to day.

When we cuddle with our children they are drawn to the reading experience and will remember it down the road. They ll want to curl up on the couch when they re older and recapture that positive emotional connection, Steinberg said.

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