Is your child having trouble sleeping?

Sleep difficulties can affect children and young people of all ages and can have a significant impact on the whole family. It is important to establish a routine around bedtime from an early age - involving the child in this process and be consistent (where possible). This guidance seeks to provide information for families affected by a child/young person experiencing difficulties with sleep.
Signs and symptoms
  • Difficulties falling asleep.
  • Frequent waking throughout the night/restless sleep.
  • Over-sleeping/under-sleeping.
  • Issues settling to sleep.
  • Nightmares/night terrors.
Links

NHS Choices

National Sleep Foundation


Resources:

Sensory Sleep Advice

Top Tips
  • Children who are physically tired will sleep better.
  • Spend quality time with your child before bed.
  • Avoid computer, TV or video games 1 hour before bed.
  • Be clear and firm about bedtime.
  • Ensure your child has had a small drink, brushed their teeth and used the toilet.
  • Make the bedroom a warm, restful place to be.
  • Encourage your child to settle down and sleep in their own bed.
  • Be patient and involve others if you can for support for yourself.
  • Establish a good routine and stick to it consistently.
  • Give your child lots of praise when it goes well and acknowledge your child's efforts.
Further Help
  • Speak to your child's school.
  • Speak to your doctor.
  • Speak to your Health Visitor.
Example of a sleep routine - primary age:

NOTE: the times stated are simply a guide and can be adjusted to suit your family.

Home from schoolOutside play/messy play
5-6pmFamily meal/share worries/ talk about school (No TVs or screens)
6-7pm
Playtime/homework
7pmAll screens off 1 hour before bedtime/ quiet time
7.30pmUpstairs: bath/pyjamas/brush teeth
7.50pmInto bed/night light on/story/say goodnight/leave
Example of a sleep routine - secondary age:

NOTE: the times stated are simply a guide and can be adjusted to suit your family.


Home from schoolSports/socialising/out to play/homework
6-7pmFamily meal/share worries/ talk about school (No TVs or screens)
7-8pmHomework/TV/out to play
8pmScreens off 1 hour before bedtime/quiet time
8.30pmUpstairs: bath/pyjamas/brush teeth
9pmInto bed/reading/No TV or screen/say goodnight/leave
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