Children with chronic sleep problems get a few hours' rest, and enjoy a boost to their mood as a result of an innovative program of intensive NHS help.
Families struggling with the difficult sleep of children will have significant improvements by the deployment of consistent accommodation, banning sweet drinks in the evening and removing toys and electronics from the bedrooms.
At bedtime, children are not allowed to watch television or use their phone or computer; Instead they do more relaxing activities like puzzle, baseball or board games.
Health professionals in Sheffield use this method to help 800 families where a child sleeps only four or five hours a night. NHS UK Mental Health Director calls initiative "Life Change".
Children who follow the regime now receive more than 2.4 hours of sleep per night. They are also eating healthier, doing better at school and much less likely to take hormone supplements to help them sleep, it has found.
Dr. Alpick, a pediatric sleep counselor at Sheffield Children's Hospital, who helped invent the program, said parents' lives were also better because they were less concerned about their child's sleep.
Clare Murdoch, director of mental health at the NHS in England, said: "Common sense, such effective measures can offer a practical and changing hand for millions."
The NHS team teamed up with the Sheffield Board and the Children's Sleep Community to help families where the child has sleep difficulties associated with ADHD or other disorders, trauma, adoption or cultivation. After a pilot in 2016, involving 40 families, the technique was extended throughout the city to all vulnerable children.
Families have a meeting with a nurse or health visitor, and then start implementing a home action plan. They then receive a weekly phone call from professional health to check progress and offer further advice.
"It's really hard to get kids to adjust to the new routine," added Elpick. "Many parents have read things online about coping with children's sleep problems, but have failed.This program takes two to three weeks of persistence, and it often gets worse before it gets better.
"But it's not a complicated invention, but it's just a good parenting exercise," he said, adding that many children say they are getting into sleep more quickly, and many say their mood has changed from "frustration" to "happiness." Improved and have a better relationship with their child. "
An expert in sleep the child Alpik offers …
• There is consistent sleep time and wake-up time, even on weekends.
• Plan a routine rest time before bedtime with, for example, jigsaws, coloring or playing dough.
• Stop using the screens an hour before bedtime and keep devices out of the bedroom overnight.
• Avoid energy drinks and caffeine-based products from noon onwards.
• Make the bedroom relaxed and comfortable, not irritating.