You’ll die from sleep deprivation before food deprivation. It takes 2 weeks to starve, but 10 days without sleep can kill you.

Better Sleep Council


Imagine never getting a night’s sleep. 

Imagine facing the day, every day, drained and exhausted. Many people experience loss of sleep for short spells during their life but imagine how it feels to have a teenager who doesn’t sleep and never has.  93% of disabled children and young people have a sleep problem and don’t sleep through the night.  This is a way of life for disabled families, a way of life that shouldn’t be like this and this is where KIDS can help.

Long-term poor sleepers are 7 times more likely to feel helpless than good sleepers and 5 times more likely to feel alone, but also twice as likely to have relationship problems, suffer daytime fatigue and lack of concentration.

The Great British Sleep Survey 2012 by Sleepio


Why are there Sleep Issues?

The Children’s Sleep Charity has looked at some of the reasons why children with a disability have sleep issues such as:

  • No set bedtime routine
  • They may have never been taught how to go to sleep independently
  • They are affected by sensory issues in their bed and bedroom eg noise, light, texture
  • Prolonged hospitalisation can lead to disturbed sleep patterns
  • Hyperactivity, interestingly this can be a symptom of chronic sleep deprivation
  • Medication may interfere with sleep
  • There may be psychological factors underlying sleep problems such as nightmares or anxiety issues.
  • Physical issues e.g. reflux, positioning issues for children with physical disabilities, epilepsy etc
  • Social communication issues such as Autism Spectrum Disorders which lead children to have sleep issues for various hypothesised reasons including low melatonin production.
  • There may be respiratory problems.

What Impact does this have?

In 2012 The Family Fund undertook a study called ‘Tired All the Time’.  

 It reveals the impact of sleep difficulties on households, capturing first hand experiences of over 2,000 parent and carers raising disabled children across the UK, these were the findings;

  • 93% are up in the night with their children
  • 49% have health issues due to the lack of sleep
  • 22% have had relationship problems as a result
  • 11% experience tiredness at work
  • 15% are concerned about siblings and the wider family’s health
  • Almost 1/3 had not sought professional support of those that had sought help but had received inconsistent levels of information and support. Of these the most common contacted were health professionals
  • 30% had been given medication for their child’s sleep


After several sleepless nights, the mental effects become more serious. Your brain will fog, making it difficult to concentrate and make decisions. You’ll start to feel down, and may fall asleep during the day. Your risk of injury and accidents at home, work and on the road also increases.



How can KIDS help?

KIDS runs a very successful Sleep Matters projects in Hull, Wakefield, Lincolnshire and Hampshire.  We are looking for your help to grow these projects and run more of them across the country.

Last year we ran over 18 workshops and helped over 225 families understand sleep and how to take control of their child’s sleeping issues. We empowered the parents so that they could tackle their child’s sleep problems and get a good night’s sleep.  Sleep Matters also provides on-to-one support for families with complex sleep issues and follows up with all their families to ensure that everything possible is being done to help each family. 

97% of families using Sleep Matters reported that it has had a positive result and that the whole family is happier and more rested. It has improved the levels of behaviour and concentration in their children, reduced depression and stress, and improved the levels of general health in the whole family.


Anand  is a seven year old boy waiting for a diagnosis and unable to sleep. It was affecting his school work and his behaviour and his mother was really struggling through her own lack of sleep. The sleep counsellor and his mother worked together to create a sleep plan that would last six week.

This plan looked at the structure of his evening, his bedtime routine, his bedroom environment and decreasing the amount of time in front of computers or screens. Lots of little changes such as a regular routine in preparing for bed, no disturbing noises or lights in his bedroom, using red light bulbs in bedrooms, no toys near his bed, changing the bedding and sheets as some waterproof sheets are very noisy and a regular consistent return to bed procedure during the night.  Over the six weeks the improvements made by Anand were outstanding. He was no longer falling asleep in class, he was better behaved going to bed and during the day, and was sleeping for longer during the night. By the end of the six weeks his whole family were more settled, happy, rested and back in control.


Good sleep is vital to everyone’s health and wellbeing and with your help we can make it happen. 

It costs £45,000 to set up and run a Sleep Matters project for a year and if everyone who sees this webpage donated £23.25 we would raise enough money to run 18 more workshops and help over 200 more families just like Anand’s.  

If everyone donated £50 we could start up a new Sleep Project near you and help even more local families in need.

Thank you for your support.  Please Donate Now    

Regular poor sleep puts you at risk of serious medical conditions including obesity, heart disease and diabetes - and it shortens your life expectancy.

The Telegraph.