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Sleep Scotland Encourages Exhausted Families in the Highlands and Islands to call their Free Sleep Support Phone Line

16th October 2018

Sleep Scotland has recently rolled out a free telephone Support Line across Scotland to provide immediate help to parents and carers struggling with their children's and teenagers' sleep problems.

Now, with funding from the Big Lottery and Scottish Government, the charity is encouraging families in the Highlands, Outer Hebrides, Orkney and Shetland to access telephone support from their experienced sleep advisors.

Sleep Scotland has delivered cognitive-behavioural sleep counselling to families in Scotland since 1998. The new Telephone Support Line enables the charity to offer more support to families across the Highlands and Islands.

Parents can seek tailored sleep advice for children and teenagers aged from 18 months to 18 years.
The roll out of the Telephone Sleep Support line coincides with an increasing need for family sleep support. Research indicates that 83% of parents have had sleep issues with at least one child1. Sleep deficits in children and young people have been linked to impaired learning, obesity, a lowered immune system, and depression. Such risks have led The Mental Health Foundation to say that "sleep has for too long been neglected as a major influence on the physical and mental health of the nation".

Having a child who can't sleep can also have a devastating effect on families. A 2017 survey carried out by Netmums and The Children’s Sleep Charity found that 75% of parents agree sleep deprivation has an impact on their mental health2.

For many families, simple interventions and basic sleep education can help them to sleep better and avoid the harmful effects of sleep deprivation. For parents and carers looking for guidance, Sleep Scotland recommends calling their Support Line on 0800 138 6565 Monday to Thursday, between 10am and 4pm, or via email outside of those hours, or for those parents and carers who require an alternative to the phone -
For more information on Sleep Scotland’s work and some of the families who have already received help, go to

Sleep Scotland was founded in 1998. It is a charity which promotes healthy sleep in children and young people through sleep awareness, sleep counselling and education. For the last twenty years, the organisation has worked throughout Scotland developing sleep services and providing intensive sleep programmes for children with additional support needs by training sleep counsellors to work directly with families in need of sleep support.

In 2011, Sleep Scotland launched Sound Sleep, a project aimed at raising awareness, in mainstream schools and youth groups, of the importance of sleep for teenagers’ emotional and physical wellbeing. Sound Sleep incorporates a one-day ‘Train the Trainer’ course, and a training pack to equip professionals with the knowledge and tools required to educate teenagers on the importance of good sleep habits. In 2018, Sound Sleep for Primary Schools was launched, as the age of children affected by poor sleep is younger due to increased stress, anxiety, and use of social media.

Through sleep counselling, training and developing sleep awareness, Sleep Scotland aims to give children and young people the best chance to reach their potential, becoming successful learners, confident individuals, effective contributors and responsible citizens.

Founder: Our CEO Jane Ansell (BSc, MA, CQSW) has continued to develop and extend the sleep support offered to children and young people. She works closely with the Scottish Government, local authorities and other professional bodies to raise the profile of sleep issues in general and the impact sleep deprivation can have on families.

She is an experienced sleep counsellor and lecturer with 25 years’ experience in cognitive and behavioural work. In 2006, she developed TEENS+, a post-school transitional education programme for young people with complex support needs. Jane has a degree in psychology and a Masters in social policy. From 1992 to 1998, she ran the Professional Development Unit in the Department Of Continuing Education at the University Of Edinburgh. She has also worked as a social worker, community worker, lecturer and manager in adult education. Since 2012, Jane has been also been teaching in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. She is a parent of four, one of whom has complex support needs