Tools for managing sleep problems

Check out a range of tools you can use to help with your child's sleep problem - 'bedtime fading', 'bedtime pass', 'camping out', 'checking method' and using a reward system. You could also check the section on sleep problems for more information about managing specific sleep problems.

Worried young girl lying in bed awake at night

© Monkey Business Images | Dreamstime.com - Worried Girl Lying In Bed Awake At Night

Putting children to bed when they are not tired increases the chances of bedtime struggles. Therefore, for some children it is best to start by setting the bedtime at the time they usually fall asleep and gradually making the bedtime earlier.

For children who have a difficult time staying in their bedroom or cry out, making a bedtime pass for your child may be valuable.

If your child is anxious about going to sleep, then 'camping out' may be helpful. You put a chair or camp bed next to your child's bed and gradually remove the chair as your child begins to fall asleep alone.

If your child is anxious about going to sleep or you think it may be hard to keep them in their bedroom, then using the 'checking method' may be helpful.

Rewards can really motivate a child to improve their behaviour. They work best if given soon after the behaviour, not after a few days.

Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) is a treatment for obstructive sleep apnoea.

Sleep problems are common in children. In most children, healthy sleep habits will sort out their sleep problems. If your child does need more help, using a medicine such as melatonin will work better if healthy sleep habits are in place.

An oximetry test measures the amount of oxygen in the blood and can be used in the assessment of your child's breathing during sleep. 

A polysomnogram (sleep study) is the gold-standard test for the investigation of breathing problems during sleep.

Neuromuscular conditions are disorders of the nerves that control the body and muscles. Neuromuscular weakness can affect different muscle groups important to breathing. Talk with your child's medical team about symptoms to watch for and what tests your child may need.