Difficulty Sleeping (0-12 Years old):
What Is It?
Lots of children find it difficult to get to sleep and may wake up during the night. Some children may sleep through the night from fairly early on, but may have blips from time to time due to teething, illness or change such as starting nursery or the arrival of a new baby. Some children find it hard to sleep due to worries or anxiety about being alone in the dark. Nightmares are common in children and they can be linked to difficult experiences the child is going through, such as bullying.
What Might Help?
- Having a stable bed time routine: This may help encourage your child to sleep their own bed.
- Reassurance: Children may need help going off to sleep due to anxiety or worries (being alone, the dark, or about imaginary things such as monsters or ghosts).
- Talking through or drawing bad dreams: Discussing bad dreams are important. Children’s dreams help them to process what is going on in their lives, including fears and worries, perhaps about school work or difficult family relationships.
- Relaxing activities before bed: Listening to calming music or doing relaxation may help.
- Professional help: there may be underlying emotional or behavioural problems which a referral to CAMHS may be able to help with. For example, severe sleep problems may be associated with depression. Children with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) may also have problems sleeping.
Useful Clips and Stories:
- SLEEP: Meditations for Kids
- Kids Clock Free: An Animated Visual Sleep Trainer for children