Ryemarkable Mom Brook Packard, a longtime Rye resident, founded Sleepytime Club about two years ago. Sleepytime Club ties together many of Brook’s passions – bedtime routines, personal connections, music and stories – in an innovative way. For the last twenty years, Brook has lived in Rye with her daughter, husband and her dogs. She and her dog, Rosie the Rottweiler, are long-time fixtures in the park. We are excited to share Brook’s Sleepytime journey with you!
Before moving to Rye, Brook lived in the city, living and working as a musician in Manhattan. Brook started her musical career at sixteen years old, playing in a church basement to earn money. She then studied opera and got into an avante-garde opera group with the founder of Music Together. When the group split up, Brook started teaching music at the Episcopal School on 69th Street. She produced a couple albums of children’s music and performed in an off-Broadway show. Around that time, Brook trained as a teacher for Music Together and had her daughter. Being a single mom, Brook was looking for ways to balance motherhood with a musical career. She started teaching children’s music groups in people’s living rooms, a job that enabled her to bring her daughter to work every day. Brook also sang and taught music in churches, which is where she met her husband, and they relocated to Rye.
What is Sleepytime Club?
Brook is an activist, a liturgist and a musician, and through her new venture, Sleepytime Club, she combines these skills into a bedtime concept that will help other along their journey. She believes that bedtime is a practice of soulful humanity; it is an opportunity to connect, reflect, build on the day and let it go.
Bedtime is a delivery time for messages. Brook believes we can save the world with better bedtimes. Sleepytime Club’s bedtime books have elements of music, poetry, touch, ASL and mindfulness. Every book has the same structured journey to sleep but different pieces for each element. The language in these books is almost all nonbinary to create a sense of openness and a personal connection with each child.
Sleepytime Club’s Bedtime Journal – Available on Ryemarkable Moms
More recently, Brook created a bedtime journal to infuse creativity and written reflection into bedtime. Sleepytime Club’s Bedtime Journal is three months of happy bedtime habits. Each week has a poem, followed by seven days of writing prompts for younger children (6 and under) and a version for older children (7 and up). In addition, the book provides access to recordings of the bedtime readings. Once you get the book you are directed to a secret page where you can download 20 minutes of bedtime poems/recordings.
Q&A with Brook:
Why did you start Sleepytime Club?
I had major sleep problems and the advice I got from doctors was to develop a good bedtime routine. In order to find a pattern in my sleep difficulties, I wrote about my journey and realized that my sleep suffered when my daughter outgrew our mutual bedtime in middle school. I put together my performing arts/music background and my writing to develop this idea that if we have important opportunities to connect at bedtime over music, art, stories and emotions. Bedtime can be transformed from something that children and adults dread into a powerful time of day that shapes our lives and unlocks our potential.
What I love most about what I do is demonstrating to others that with a flip of intention, bedtime becomes an opportunity. I love writing my stories, going to the studio and collaborating with Pat, the guitarist who plays on our recordings, and seeing what my illustrator, Em, creates visually. Having worked in churches in faith formation, I believe in process over product when it comes to learning, I want to take people on the spiritual journey that is sleep.
When I decided to start Sleepytime Club, I had to feel the fear and do it anyway. Nothing like this has ever existed before, and I knew I could create something new and innovative.
The biggest challenge I face is marketing and communicating what I do and why it is different from other things that already exist. People think I’m a sleep coach and I’m not. I’m a bedtime curator who gives people tools that can help them. My job is to make myself obsolete as people begin to use these tools and see their value.
I am still working on marketing by constantly shaping my story, learning as I go, and embracing personal visibility and expansion. This can be a challenge for women.
Having a business in Rye is great because I get the best of nature for inspiration and I’m so close to NYC for inspiration in the arts. It is a perfect balance.
My best tip for fellow entrepreneurs is to feel the fear and take the risk anyway. Inhabit your own courage. And while you are working tirelessly to turn your vision into a business, get some sleep!
Check out Brook's Sleepytime Club's Bedtime Journal here: https://www.ryemarkablemoms.com/product-page/sleepytime-club-s-bedtime-journal