Not in SWYPE. In SWYPE you drag from the period to the space bar. That will do a period followed by a space, and once you get used to it, it's actually faster than a double tap. You also do that for commas, question marks, etc.
If you like more of an iphone experience, download for free, "Keyboard from android 2.3" from the market.
I second that. The swype method is very fast with the period to space bar swype. Sometimes tutorials do actually help. The gingerbread keyboard and Perfect Keyboard both have double tap space for period.