How can a sleep counsellor support me?

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Your sleep counsellor will make contact with you, and arrange follow up sessions to monitor progress. They may work alone, or in a pair.

First, check our map of services to find out if there is a sleep counsellor working in your area.

Sleep counsellors are trained by Sleep Scotland, but don’t work for us. This means they all have their own criteria for the children they are able to work with, so check the referral criteria for each one. The map also explains how to make a referral in your area.

In your first session, the sleep counsellor will take a sleep history. This will include, for example, questions about evening and daytime routines, what your child’s bedroom is like, and night-time behaviour. They may also ask you to keep sleep diaries. All of this helps give a full overview of the existing sleep problem and how best to support your family. This first session may take up to 1.5 hours.

The sleep counsellor will put together a sleep plan for you: this is always tailored around your child and their individual situation. Our sleep counsellors are trained to support parents and carers by giving them specific, tried and tested behavioural and cognitive techniques to adapt their child’s night-time behaviour.

The sleep counsellor will continue to check in with you regularly, either in a meeting or over the phone, to monitor how things are going, and help with any problems that come up. Further sessions with your sleep counsellor will usually be shorter, 30 to 60 minutes, and they may offer a home visit as part of the programme.

It’s not usually necessary to bring your child along to the sessions — the sleep counsellor will discuss with you if and when they should meet your child.

Sleep counsellors often have waiting lists, and there may be a delay before they’re able to start work with you. If this is the case, families living in Scotland can also contact our Sleep Support Line for short-term telephone support in the meantime.

Find out more

Get in touch to find out more about the services, information and support we offer.