Sleep is incredibly important for everyone and, for children, can have a huge impact on concentration, learning and behaviour. Unfortunately, sleep problems in childhood and adolescence are common and may include nightmares or sleep tremors, sleepwalking and broken sleep patterns.
To aid sleep, the following are suggested:
- Having a regular time to go to sleep and wake up.
- Having a predictable and consistent night-time routine.
- Making sure children and young people are in natural daylight for at least half an hour– particularly in the morning.
- Making sure children and young people get enough exercise during the day.
- Older children should avoid napping in the day.
- Avoiding caffeine, particularly in the afternoon.
- Turning off computer screens or other devices at least an hour before bedtime. Blue light from TVs, tablets and mobiles excite the brain and interfere with the sleep hormone levels, preventing the brain from feeling sleepy.
- Having low lighting and a quiet space in bedrooms.
- Avoiding checking devices, particularly in the middle of the night.
- Supporting children and young people to develop positive coping strategies for regulating their emotions and managing their stress levels.
If sleep is something your child is struggling with, the resources listed below may be of interest:
Mind Sleep Problems Guide
11 Ways to get a Good Night’s Sleep
Sleep Relaxation in Pictures
Good Sleep Video
ADHD Foundation Good Sleep Hygiene Checklist