The school Nursing team can offer initial support to children, young people and parents for a range of sleep issues.
Common sleep problems
- Changes in routine
- Nighttime wetting.
Good quality sleep is vital for children’s growth and development. ‘A decent night’s sleep will help them to do better at school, allow them to react more quickly to situations, have a more developed memory, learn more effectively and solve problems, plus it will make them less susceptible to colds and other minor ailments, less irritable and better behaved! ‘ – The Sleep Charity
Top tips for sleep
- Create a calm, sleep-friendly bedroom. Remove TV and gadgets. Keep at ideal room temperature 16 – 18 degrees.
- Dim the lights in the hour before bedtime, close the curtains to create some darkness and turn all screens off to help to promote melatonin (sleep hormone) production.
- Consider introducing supper time. Slow releasing carbohydrates are great for keeping little tummies full. Dairy products are also very calming at nighttime. Avoid anything sugar loaded or containing caffeine.
- Don’t send children to their bedroom/bed if they’ve been challenging. Their bedrooms should be a safe haven and not one where they feel anxious, stressed or worried
- Set realistic bedtimes, according to sleep needs for their age.
- Get ready for bed in the same order – for example, pajamas on, tooth brushing, toilet etc. Visual aids can be a great help for younger children or those with additional needs.
- Wake them up at the same time each morning to help to strengthen their body clock.
How much sleep do children need.
It is important to focus on the quality of sleep not quantity and establishing a good bedtime routine will aid this.
Just like adults some children need more sleep and others less. The here is exact rule on how much sleep children need, but as a general guide-
- 3-6 years old 10-12 hrs per day
- 7-12 years old 10-11 hours per day
- 12-18 years old 8-9 hours per day
How can we help
If your school-aged child and you have concerns about sleep, contact the school nursing team. They will be able to provide advice, information and assessment.