Introduction It may be assumed that children who are patients of a community paediatric service are more difficult to support in order to improve their sleep. This assumption could be due to their condition or the possibility of a co-morbid sleep disorder. It may also be due to parent’s reluctance to talk about sleep as there are other issues seen to be more important or even they think that sleep can’t be improved. The Sleep Wise programme, commissioned by a CCG, sought to improve sleep for this cohort.
Method 50 children 3 to 12 years old were assessed over 12 months (2018 to 2019) and received a sleep programme, which addressed lifestyle and behavioural changes, working with the family’s priorities. Before and after scores were taken for sleep disturbance and the parents rated the impact on family life before and after. A questionnaire was administered once involvement ended.
Results We found that there was a high degree of adherence to the sleep assessment: 88% followed the programme through. 99% reported improved sleep. Average sleep disturbance reduced from 5.5 to 1.9 out of a possible 8. A whole range of factors (self rated) improved. Rating recorded before and after:
Child’s daytime behaviour
My ability to work to my full potential
Effect on quality of life and health
Effect on siblings
Child’s happiness and health
80% of those already taking melatonin to help them to sleep came off melatonin completely. 77% avoided medication after Sleep Wise.
Discussion The ‘Sleep Wise’ method of engaging children and families was highly effective in empowering families in some of the most challenging circumstances to take control of their child’s sleep and achieve success.
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