Sleep Scotland has delivered cognitive-behavioural sleep counselling to families in Scotland since 1998. The new telephone support line enables the charity to offer support to all families across Scotland. Parents can seek tailored sleep advice for children and teenagers aged from 18 months to 18 years.
The roll out of the telephone sleep support line coincides with an increasing need for family sleep support. Research indicates that 83% of parents have had sleep issues with at least one child. Sleep deficits in children and young people have been linked to impaired learning, obesity, a lowered immune system, and depression. Such risks have led The Mental Health Foundation to say that “sleep has for too long been neglected as a major influence on the physical and mental health of the nation”.
Having a child who can’t sleep can also have a devastating effect on families. A 2017 survey carried out by Netmums and The Children’s Sleep Charity found that 75% of parents agree sleep deprivation has an impact on their mental health.
For many families, simple interventions and basic sleep education can help them to sleep better and avoid the harmful effects of sleep deprivation. For parents and carers looking for guidance, Sleep Scotland recommends calling their support line on 0800 138 6365, Monday to Thursday, between 10am and 4pm, or via email outside of those hours, or for those parents and carers who require an alternative to the phone – email sleep support.