Dr Andrew Mayers
PhD, MBPsS, FRSA
My children's sleep work has attracted the attention of local and national media. Please click here to see an overview of radio, TV, and other media appearances.
This page is devoted to addressing the global need to tackle children's sleep problems. My aim is to provide reliable resources for parents, teachers, or anyone else for whom children's sleep is important (with information that verified by some of the leading experts in children's sleep across the UK). You can download and/or purchase resources to help resolve children's sleep problems, find directions to professional services, and get some guidance towards how problems with children's sleep can be managed. All of these resources are available by clicking on the appropriate buttons on either side of this page.
Children's sleep problems are more common than many people think. As many as 2 in every 5 children will develop some kind of sleep problem during childhood; this is even higher where there are special needs. Insufficient sleep can damage learning processes, cognition, and concentration. Poor sleep also affects behaviour – at school and in the home. Often the whole family suffers, and it is often the cause of marital conflict. Despite this there are few support services nationally. Through this web page, and with the help of my expert colleagues across the UK, we aim to redress that.
Please note that the information provided here is for guidance only. If you need specific advice about a child's sleep problems, you should seek professional help. I cannot give advice directly to the general public through this website or via e-mail. I may be able to signpost to appropriate services, depending on the circumstances.
Children's sleep workshops
Until relatively recently, I frequently ran workshops in schools to help provide training for parents on children's sleep. Sadly, my expanding work in mental health campaigning and education means that I can no longer do those.
Because of the impact that poor children's sleep has on the entire family, I will continue to campaign for better support, resources, awareness, funding, and consistency of services. Some of that will be done in collaboration with the Children's Sleep Charity. We are working on some projects that are likely to receive national media attention. I cannot say anymore now, but will update you as soon as I can.
It is essential that we continually expand our knowledge about children's sleep (and the impact of poor sleep). We can do that by designing, implementing and reporting high quality research. You can read about some of my own research here. Current plans for research include the impact of poor sleep in the perinatal period. We know that poor sleep is a risk factor for developing mental health problems, but this even more relevant during pregnancy and in months following childbirth. We need to look at how we can help mums (and the rest of the family) get better sleep, and to provide support on improving infant sleep. To inform that work, we need evidence about what needs to be done. Watch this space!
In October 2013, it was my great honour to be invited to give two talks at the Annual Professional Conference for the Community Practitioners and Health Visitors Association (CPHVA) at York Racecourse. I presented some of my work on children's sleep and, in a separate plenary, perinatal mental health (click here for more details). Please let me know if you would like a copy of my presentation slides.