A LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL FOR TEENAGERS WITH SLEEPING PROBLEMS?

With the school holidays soon coming to an end, many families are keen to re-introduce a solid sleep routine allowing children to thrive during the day. This is trickier to achieve for families with youngsters with neurological problems as a large proportion of them report sleeping problems for youngsters and the rest of the household.

Problems with sleep are widely reported and addressed in younger children with a plethora of books and forums offering to tackle the issue. Sadly this remains a reality for many in teenage years with often having dire consequences on the sufferers’ education and employment opportunities.

The charity Cerebra and their sleep service  is one of the too rare organisations providing help and strategies for older youngsters and their families. Using a technique called Chronotherary, Cerebra’s sleep practitioners aim to address unusual (or non existent!) sleeping patterns by pushing bedtimes forward rather than backwards as is the general advice for younger children.

A typical Chronotherapy schedule can follow the pattern below:

•1st night: sleep at 4 a.m., wake at 12 midday

•2nd night: sleep at 7 a.m., wake at 3 p.m.

•3rd night: sleep at 10 a.m., wake at 6 p.m.

•4th night: sleep at 1 p.m., wake at 9 p.m.

•5th night: sleep at 4 p.m., wake at 12 p.m.

•6th night: sleep at 7 p.m., wake at 3 a.m.

•7th night: sleep at 10 p.m., wake at 6 a.m.

A word of warning – Chronotherapy can be difficult to implement and Cerebra advises against using this technique without the help of an experienced sleep practitioner. Having said that many families report a vast improvement after using the techniques with youngsters developing more normal and longer sleeping partners.

For anyone who had to function on very little sleep Chronotherary can be a light at the end of the tunnel and a potential end to sleepless nights.

If your family and your children are affected by sleeplessness, Cerebra’s sleep service is available on 01267 244210 or at sleep@cerebra.org.uk,