Activity: getting back to sleep after waking

If your child struggles to get back to sleep after more than 30 minutes, encourage them to get up and do something to calm their mind. 

Ideas to feel calm

If your often child wakes and can’t get back to sleep, talk them through some things that might help. Ask your child what helps them relax, and see if they can try that next time they wake in the middle of the night. This might be:

  • Moving around a little, before going back to bed.
  • Listening to calming music. Some children may prefer total quiet, so go with what works for your child.
  • Reading a book or listening to an audiobook.
  • Making a warm drink. This is something for teenagers or older children to try.

Try to keep things dark, quiet and calm, and allow your child to fall asleep again on their own. That way, if they wake in the night they are more likely to drop off again without needing you there.

    If your child has nightmares, there are some things you can do to help with this. We also have advice on night terrors.

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    This advice was written by our experienced Parent Talk coaches. Parent Talk is a free online service for parents and carers, provided by the charity Action for Children. For more advice, message our parenting coaches with our online chat.

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