Applying Health and Wellbeing: Exploring the Sound Sleep curriculum in secondary schools.
Sleep is one of the most important aspects of a healthy lifestyle however you may not know that lack of sleep affects more than 25% of adolescents. Sleep is an essential part of existence, without which there are serious psychological and physical consequences (Stores, 2009).
The changing sleep patterns of young people are becoming more apparent. A common theme in Joint Support Team meetings and learning reviews is the use by young people of electronic media, often until the early hours of the morning. Many young people have little understanding that lack of sleep has a detrimental affect on social and emotional wellbeing and academic achievement. The recommended optimal hours sleep a night for an adolescent is 9 and a quarter hours. In some instances young people are reporting that they are getting half that amount in order to get to school by the required time. Consequences of lack of sleep can include persistent lateness, absence, lack of concentration, irritability, low mood, anxiety, stress, greater emotional outbursts and poor motor co-ordination.
The Sleep Project has now been implemented in the majority of secondary schools. There have been a number of aims:
- to provide information to young people about sleep and its importance and the impact lack of sleep has on their ability to learn and general health and wellbeing
- to help young people to develop good sleep habits by giving the opportunity to learn about, discuss and implement strategies to develop a good sleep routine
- put sleep on young people’s agendas and make sure it is a subject that can be discussed through peer, teacher and parental relationships.
The psychological service is now focusing on the early years. It is our intention:
- to support parents of preschool children by providing information about knowledge of sleep and good sleep routines
- for parents to feel better informed about sleep
- to raise awareness of the importance of sleep for young children within the nursery context
- to canvas interest in further supports to establish positive sleep routines
- to partnership work within early years centres and their staff to lead potential follow up work.
Watch this space for further developments!
Some useful documents
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