Bedtime tips for your anxious child

Sleep is one of the hardest life skills to work on with your children. Sleep helps our brain function well, keeps our emotions in check and reduces our chances of becoming sick.

Many children with sleep issues, present with anxiety around going to sleep, or sleeping by themselves. The relationship between anxiety and sleep is a complicated one — sleep strengthens the brain against anxiety, but anxiety at bedtime stops sleep!

Why do we see anxiety at bedtime?

An anxious brain won’t rest until it feels safe, which is why we see lots of children sleep just fine as soon as they get in bed with mum or dad. We feel safest when we feel connected and contained, therefore, remaining warm, strong and loving during the bedtime routine will best support your child’s anxiety.

Our Bedtime Guide has been developed by Therapy Pro for Kids’ Lead Early Childhood Early Intervention Therapists, Penny Cosh and Jodie Dobson, to support children and their families during bedtime. The guide includes tips for identifying signs of anxiety at bedtime, how you can help your child, creating a restful room and a printable routine chart.

Read the guide and download the routine rewards tracker to set your week up for success.

If you are finding it tricky to implement strategies, or need more support, our friendly team of psychologists are more than happy to help through therapy with your child and family to find the routine that best suits you!

About the Authors

Jodie is a Senior Occupational Therapist, based in Brisbane’s north. Jodie understands that the world as she sees it is not the same for her young clients—it can be too loud, too cold, too prickly, too…much. Jodie helps families to understand their children and helps her young clients cope better with their challenges so that they can take part in activities to the best of their abilities.

Penny is a Senior Social Worker, based in Brisbane. Penny provides emotional support to parents and families adjusting to a disability diagnosis and helps them to navigate the maze of the disability world, by creating links and connections to find the right help for their child.

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