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Sleep

Healthy sleep routines (sometimes known as sleep hygiene) can help your child to get a better night sleep

There is a lot of advice available to support having a good night’s sleep.  We have put together some ideas which we hope you will find useful;

  • Good sleep hygiene for children and teenagers
  • Help with your child’s sleep where there is physical disability

Click each of the green headings below to see further information. 

 

  • A good bedtime routine is essential. Do the same things at the same time each night so that your child knows that it is bedtime. Use bedtime as an opportunity to spend some time together and read stories and/or sing songs.Keep things calm and relaxed
  • A warm bath before bedtime can help relax your child.
  • Dim the lights and switch off the TV, games console, tablet or computer about 1 hour before bedtime. This can help your child fall asleep more easily. The blue light from a screen will keep your child’s brain (and yours) awake for longer as it interrupts the production of melatonin (the sleep hormone) in the body.This applies to the older child too.
  • If your younger child wakes up in the night, go to them and reassure them if needed but try not to interact too much..
  • At times of transitions and big events such as starting school some extra reassurance may be necessary.
  • Keep your child’s bedroom as dark as possible. A blackout blind may help.
  • Make sure that the temperature is not too warm or too cold in the bedroom and that bed covers are the right thickness and weight.Some children feel more secure tucked quite tightly under their bedcovers.
  • Regular exercise can improve sleep but try not to exercise late in the evening.
  • Try to get some daytime light every day as this helps the body to produce melatonin.
  • Avoid caffeinated drinks, such a cola, later in the day.

  

How we can help 

An Occupational Therapy assessment will be required when a child needs specialist equipment for the bedroom please visit the equipment at home page.

Where a child has sensory differences which are affecting their sleep advice is available on our Helping your child with sensory differences page

Need more information?

For sleep advice there are lots of great resources:


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