Keeping a sleep diary

When we are sleep deprived, we can become forgetful and stressed so do not always recognise what’s happening at night.

Each night merges into another, so you need to be able to take night time and look at it in segments. Using a sleep diary can help you identify areas of inconsistency and areas to praise. You might even notice your child is getting more sleep than you thought!

Download a sleep diary (Word)

Tips for using a sleep diary

  • To be effective, you need to complete your sleep diary honestly and fully.
  • If your child sleeps elsewhere, such as a respite centre or another family member’s house, ask them to fill in the sleep diary. You might notice your child’s sleep pattern is different there.
  • Check with your school to see if your child naps in the day. Ask the escort if they sleep on the bus home. This will affect night-time sleep if the nap is too late in the day or if they are at an age when they should not need naps.
  • Keep the diary and a pencil by the bed. Fill it in immediately as it's hard trying to remember what happened later.
  • Share the diary with sleep professionals to see if they can help you find a cause for your child’s sleeping difficulties.
  • Keep the diary for at least 2 weeks. See if you can see a pattern to your child’s sleeping habits. You can then identify an area that you can start to address.

Helping your disabled child sleep

Scope's sleep services

We run sleep services that support families of children with additional needs, aged between 2 and 18, who have severe sleep problems.

These services provide workshops, clinic appointments as well as support by telephone and email.

Scope's Sleep Right service

Scope's Sleep Right podcast

Last reviewed by Scope on: 15/02/2024

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