7:00 am, Friday, 28th July 2023

SEND Good News Story- Sleep Service helps kids get a better night’s sleep

Parent carers have applauded the work of The KIDS South Bank Sleep Service for helping their children and young people with SEND get into good sleep routines.

Children and young people with SEND (Special Educational needs and Disabilities) are far more likely than their peers to have sleep difficulties. These may include difficulty going to sleep, waking frequently throughout the night or waking early in the morning.

The free Sleep Service aims to support the child or young person to sleep better with a range of methods individualised to each particular family. Support is provided through a range of methods, including workshops and drop-ins, 1:1 support, and telephone/e-mail support.

Local parent carers said:

“It’s absolutely a different world now”

“It was so good to speak with someone with the lived experience of having a child with complex needs and thanks for your help, it’s been amazing!”

“We are in such a better routine now with your help. We get more time together in an evening, which is amazing! Thank you.”

To put it into context, some positive outcomes of local people who’ve used the service include:

A child who is looked after and has a learning disability alongside social and emotional health challenges now benefits from a 50% increase in unbroken sleep per night after receiving support. The child now enjoys 9 hours of continual sleep compared to their previous 6 hours per night.

A child with multiple disabilities benefitted from a huge 80% increase in unbroken sleep per night after receiving our support, improving from 5 hours sleep per night, to 9 hours.

Another parent reported that before receiving sleep support, they often experienced feelings of isolation and felt that sleep issues often negatively affected their relationships with their partner and child. After receiving sleep support, their child’s sleep issues were completely resolved, and they no longer had the feelings of isolation or experienced relationship strain as a result of their child’s sleep struggles.

Professionals are also invited to take training in order to better support the families that they work with.

They said:

‘The best training course I have ever done. I came away with practical ways I can support my families. I recommend it to everyone.’

‘I feel like we can provide a lot more support for our families who are addressing sleep problems’

The demand for sleep training is clear.

In the January to March quarter, service referrals increased by 172% and continue to grow. One-to-one sleep clinics are part of the remote service, meaning that families do not need to travel to attend appointments. People can access the service via telephone calls, emails, texts and online training as well as face-to-face training. All our offer is free to users, both families and professionals.

Get to know the Coordinator and Senior Practitioner/Trainer:

The Coordinator of this sleep service, Karen, is Masters Level qualified. She brings a wealth of early years, safeguarding and education knowledge and experience to the team, along with her sleep expertise. Trained in sleep CBT by Honorary Consultant Dr Catherine Hill (University of Southampton) via Sleep Scotland & Solent NHS, with additional specialisms, such as Enuresis training. The Coordinator has also completed training created by Harvard Medical School’s behavioural sleep medicine specialist, Dr Gregg Jacob, and is registered as an ‘international clinician’ within Dr Jacob’s Conquering Insomnia CBT-I program for adult insomnia.

The Senior Practitioner, Carol, was similarly CBT trained via NHS Sleep Southampton. She has spoken as a guest speaker at many live conference events and was part of a team that presented a sleep manifesto to politicians at the Palace of Westminster. Carol is an experienced and confident trainer. She has valuable and relatable lived experience having raised her own son who has complex disabilities resulting from difficulties during his birth and also experienced sleep issues as a young child.

For more information or to make a referral (professional or self-referral), please email:


or sleepservicenorthandnel@kids.org.uk

Visit the Local Offers Sleep page- NELC SEND Local Offer | Sleep (nelincs.gov.uk)

See some sleep infographics below.