What are cognitive and behavioural techniques?

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Sleep Scotland supports families using cognitive and behavioural strategies.

Many sleep problems are learned behaviours - which means they can also be unlearned and changed. Sleep Scotland works with families to look at what they think about sleep (cognition) and how that affects their actions (behaviour).

We are not able to advise on medical or physical problems, or on sleep medication – if you think your child’s sleep is being affected by a medical issue, you should contact your GP.

We help families to change both thinking about sleep and the actions that happen as a result. For example, this could mean:

For a child who’s anxious about going to bed:

  • Reassuring them with a more structured, relaxing bedtime routine
  • Assessing whether anything in their bedroom could be disturbing them e.g. screens, noise, shadows, light/dark, temperature
  • Talking with the family about other ways to comfort their child at bedtime e.g. sleeping with a bedtime toy with parents’ scent on it

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