Happy Learners Banner

How do you get your child to go to sleep?


Routine - keep bedtime the same time even at weekends and holidays. Melatonin is naturally released by the body as it gets dark to help us sleep and is regulated by our body clock. Keeping to a regular routine helps to make the most of this important sleep chemical. (Sometimes melatonin is prescribed to help sleep difficulties.)
No computers, gadgets or TV for at least one hour before sleep time. Avoid stress before bed as this releases stress hormones such as cortisol which acts to wake the body. All computer games produce stress not just the violent ones. Social Media is also a source of stress - constantly needing to check on comments and likes etc. can fuel anxieties and self-esteem issues.
Cortisol is also activated by light and is naturally released to help wake us up. In the evening it best to try and reduce light levels and/or use special night time lighting. These night time bulbs generate a warmer colour light that removes a lot of the blue light and help support sleep.
Calming activities such as reading stories can help get your child ready for sleep. Audio books can be a useful alternative for reluctant readers and young children. Listening to music can also be effective for many. Avoid watching TV to get to sleep.
Use black out curtains or blinds to cut down light; particularly in summer months
If your child needs a night light try to choose one that gives out a orange or red glow
Keep bedrooms well ventilated but eliminate cold draughts

Further articles providing advice and strategies can be found below.

Bullet Break

Bullet Break

You may also be interested in the following pages:

Bedtime Resources

Sleep Social Stories

Sleep Problems

Bullet Break