Together Trust Sleep Services
Poor sleep doesn’t have to be a given. If sleep is an issue in your home, we’re here to help.
The Together Trust can offer one-to-one sleep clinics and online advice for local parents and carers in Greater Manchester, Merseyside and Cheshire. Our sleep practitioners work with you to create a personalised sleep plan for your child so everyone can get a good night’s sleep. If your child has sleep dificulties, please click the relevent link below:
Why is sleep important?
A good night’s sleep can make a huge difference to our daily life. Sleep can help us stay healthy, improve our mood and is super important when it comes to learning.
If sleep (or lack of) is an issue in your family, the good news is you can do something about it.
Information and advice for over 2's
If you would like some general sleep advice, we have produced a set of downloadable information sheets on various topics linked to children’s sleep. This information and advice is aimed at children aged two years and up. Please click the links below to download our resources.
Sleep Tips: Afraid of the dark?
These fears are very normal and usually start showing up around the age of two. The reason for this is that a toddler’s mind is maturing, their memory is getting longer, and their imagination continues to develop. They are starting to become more aware that there are things that can hurt them. They may have even watched a show or read a book that frightened them.
Sleep Tips: Anxiety and fear
Cortisol is a hormone that is raised during times of stress and makes us feel alert and awake. It naturally reduces at night so that we can sleep. If your child is anxious at bedtime, their cortisol levels will be raised, and they will find it difficult to sleep.
Sleep Tips: Beds
Make sure your child only uses their bed for sleep in order to associate it with relaxation and a pre-bedtime ritual such as reading a book, rather than homework, gaming or playing with toys, for example.
Sleep Tips: Bedtime routine
A bedtime routine helps to regulate children’s body clocks and aids relaxation, leading to a good night’s sleep. Trying a new bedtime routine might worsen sleep patterns before they get better. Consistency is important and we advise sticking to the new routine for at least two weeks before you start to see some positive changes.
Sleep Tips: Example of bedtime routine
Below is an example of a bedtime routine for a child whose bedtime is 8:15pm. It helps to have this routine displayed visually. It can be displayed as written below if your child can read. With younger children, you can use pictures or photographs of each activity and show these to them at the appropriate times whilst giving the instruction verbally.
Sleep Tips: Exercise and Daytime Activity
People sleep significantly better and feel more alert during the day if they get at least 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity a week. Exercise is beneficial to both physical and mental health and increases your child’s need for sleep.
Sleep Tips: Food and Drink
Food and drink that your child consumes throughout the day, and especially in the evening, can have an impact on how well they settle to sleep. Caffeine and sugar both impact sleep quality and can cause more frequent night wakings.
Sleep Tips: Light
How much light your child is exposed to before bedtime and in their bedroom itself can have a significant impact on how well they sleep as light disrupts their circadian rhythm and tells their body it is time to stay awake and alert. However, your child’s sleep isn’t just affected by light levels in their bedroom, but also by light levels during the day.
Sleep Tips: Nightmares and Sleep (Night) Terrors
Sleep Terrors (also called Night Terrors) and Nightmares are often thought to be the same thing when in fact, they are quite different. Nightmares are more common than Sleep Terrors but neither will cause any long-term psychological harm to your child.
Sleep Tips: Noise
To get the sleep that your child needs, it’s important to protect their sleep environment against unwanted sounds for the duration of their night’s rest. Noise at night can prevent your child from falling asleep initially, and sounds during the night can wake them, leaving them unable to return to sleep. While your child sleeps, the sleeping brain continues to register and process sounds. Noises can create restlessness in sleep even if they don’t wake your child fully, and these interruptions affect sleep quality.
Sleep Tips: Relaxation
Cortisol is a hormone, which is raised during times of stress and makes us feel alert and awake. It naturally reduces at night so that we can sleep. If your child is anxious at bedtime, their cortisol levels will be raised, and they will find it difficult to sleep. Please see our “Anxiety and fear” advice sheet for more information and try the relaxation techniques below.
Sleep Tips: Temperature
Body temperature fluctuates during the day. Your child’s body temperature will peak late afternoon and then start to drop in the evening. About two hours before bed, core body temperature lowers, which signals to the brain that it’s time to fall asleep. This lowering of body temperature kickstarts melatonin production, which is the hormone that helps your child to fall asleep.
We're here to help
Many autistic children have sleep problems which can have a devastating impact on the whole family. That’s why our autism sleep clinic exists. To help you understand what’s affecting your child’s sleep, and how you can improve things.