This Sleep Toolkit is for 5 to 13-year-olds and the guidance and support is aimed at parents and carers, and those working with families with school aged children.
The importance of sleep: we all do it – but how much do you know about what happens when we sleep?
Sleep is essential for our bodies - a lack of sleep can be harmful and can cause difficulties with our physical and psychological wellbeing. Sleep is the way that our bodies process what has happened during the day and recharge our energy.
You might think we don’t do anything when we are asleep but many parts of our brains are in fact more active than when we are awake.
Sleep is a state of reduced awareness that is relatively easy to reverse (unlike a coma or hibernation). Some awareness of the environment around us remains during sleep, particularly our responses to sound (for example, a mother will hear her baby crying but may not wake to the sound of cars passing outside).
In humans, sleep is usually associated with having our eyes closed and laying down – although not always!
A few symptoms of not getting enough sleep (sleep deprivation) are:
- Concentration difficulties
- Growth hormone issues
- Mental health issues
- Lowering of the immune system
- Weight gain
- Behavioural issues
- Difficulty remembering things
Who has produced this toolkit?
This toolkit has been produced in partnership by:
- School Health Nursing
- Sirona Care and Health
- Kings’ Forest Primary School
- King’s Oak Academy Primary School
- Off the Record
- South Gloucestershire Council - Public Health & Wellbeing, Early Years, Educational Psychology, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service
Click the link at the bottom of the screen for the full toolkit
All children are individuals and will have individual sleep needs. The following are important to remember:
- Children pick up on your anxiety, try to remain calm as bedtime approaches.
- A bedtime routine is extremely important to support your child in relaxing. Bedtime routines need some thought and forward planning; being consistent is essential.
- Think about what might be causing the sleep issues and then work out the best way to address it. If you are worried discuss this with your school nurse or your GP.
- It takes children time to learn a new behaviour, including at night. Follow through any changes you make for at least two weeks to begin to see an improvement.
- Make sure your child is comfortable in their bed and the bedroom environment is a relaxing one.
If your child’s sleep-wake cycle is causing concern you should speak to your GP. You can also contact the following:
- Your school nurse at:
Patchway Hub 01454 862434
Kingswood Hub 01454 862441
Yate Hub 01454 338804
- There are parenting support courses available from:
The Bourne Family Project: 0117 9478441
- Parenting support is also available from South Gloucestershire council following referral by a professional:
Action Response Team (ART) 01454 866000
- Organisations and websites:
The Children’s Sleep Charity - 01302 751 416 / email@example.com
The Sleep Council - firstname.lastname@example.org
Story books to help with bedtime fears
Mental Health and Growing Up Factsheet - Sleep problems in childhood and adolescence: for parents, carers and anyone who works with young people