Resources for Families

Sleep & Your Child

10 Nov 2021

Sleeping children

Sleep is an essential part of everyone’s daily routine and strongly related to quality of life, learning, health and emotional well-being. Sleep, like diet and exercise, helps us to grow, recover from the wear and tear of daily life and build immunity.

Over 80% of children and teenagers with developmental disabilities have disturbed sleep that affects their development, daytime behaviour, learning and health.

How To Get Your Child to Sleep Better

You can help children sleep better with bedtime routines, regular bedtimes, healthy sleep associations, comfortable sleep environments and healthy daytime habits. A good night’s sleep is about getting to sleep and staying asleep. Most children wake up by themselves in the morning if they’re getting enough good-quality sleep.

I am sure you would have tried lots of things already, but here are some tips to support your child sleeping well. There may be something here you haven’t tried before:

  • Set up a bedtime routine
  • Relax before bedtime
  • Keep regular sleep and wake times
  • Keep older children’s naps early and short
  • Make sure your child feels safe at night
  • Check noise and light in your child’s bedroom
  • Avoid the clock
  • Eat the right amount at the right time
  • Get plenty of natural light in the day
  • Avoid caffeine

More detail on these tips

Reasons to Consider Your Child's Sleep

Sleep disturbance in children impacts on the whole family. Parents and carers can be exhausted from sleepless nights and experience additional emotional and physical stress.

Adequate sleep is really important for a child’s health and development. Lack of adequate sleep can have impacts on many aspects of your child’s day.

SleepAbility have compiled a list of resources
to help you with your child’s night time routine and sleep.

Podcast - Sleep

The team at Murdoch Children’s Research Institute have developed a podcast all about children and sleep. These podcasts will help you to identify sleeping problems in your children, from babies to high school and can give you easy to understand steps to improve their sleep cycles and overall health. They cover the importance of sleep at each development stage and give advice on important issues.

Sleep Stories

Sometimes using a book to explain a topic makes it easier for your child to understand. The Sleep Health Foundation has compiled a list of books that may make explaining sleep and routines to children in a simple manner. I even enjoy a sleep story myself, a well recorded voice telling you a story as you drift off to sleep is a great idea.

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