Sleep Resources

We all know that for ourselves and our families, sleeping well is vital for our wellbeing and energy levels. But what is sleep?

Sleep is a period of rest. It consists of REM and Non-REM sleep; A full sleep cycle is two basic types of sleep:  rapid eye movement (REM) sleep and non-REM sleep. A sleep cycle lasts around 90 minutes, and you cycle through all stages of non-REM and REM sleep several times during a typical night.

Although you or your young person may feel wide awake and cannot sleep, sleep is still very important. Sleep is important to several brain functions, including how nerve cells communicate with each other. Sleep also supports our immune system and releases growth hormones. It helps us to concentrate, be mentally alert as well as feel calmer and be a happier person.

If we don’t get enough sleep, we are unable to process what we’ve learned during the day, and we have more trouble remembering it in the future. Emotions are heightened and you are more likely to have accidents and illness. It can also lead to weight issues, anxiety issues and bad skin and hair.

When darkness comes at night a chemical called melatonin is released to help us feel tired, sleepy, and ready for bed. Having the right sleep environment / sleep set up and a good consistent bedtime routine can help melatonin production. Research shows that children and adults that have ADHD and autism can have up to half the amount of melatonin in their system then they should have. If you feel this could be the case for you, we suggest speaking to your GP or paediatrician.

50% of children have sleep issues at some point across the nation. Over 80% of those with SEND will have sleep problems. 40% of the adult population have difficulties with sleep.

The links on this page are designed to help you support your child or teen in having a good night sleep. If you would like further help with your child’s sleep, please come along to an upcoming sleep workshop. Scroll down to the “workshops” section on this page.

Sleep hygiene is the most important aspect of a good night’s sleep and should be the first thing you focus on.

Once you are confident that the sleep environment is conducive to a good night’s rest, introduce a bedtime routine. 

There are lots of different sleep strategies that you could use to support your child to sleep better. 

If you have a teenager who is struggling to sleep, you might find the information here to be helpful. 

A sleep diary is a brilliant way of finding out what is going well and where improvements can be made. We would suggest keeping a sleep diary for 2 weeks; you can compare week 1 to week 2 to see if there’s any patterns. Print or download this template.

This chart shows how much sleep your child/ young person should be getting each night.

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