There is an increasing number of students struggling to get through the school day due to tiredness. This can present itself in obvious ways such as yawning and laying their heads down on their desks but also presents itself as an inability to focus on their work, intolerance of their peers, and tears. According to the Sleep Foundation NZ, poor sleep is linked to mood swings and behaviour problems such as ADHD and cognitive problems.
A full school day of learning is challenging and our students need to be prepared to work their brain hard. A long restful sleep the night before is one of the best things parents and caregivers can do to support their learning. When we sleep, our brains process information and memories and sleep helps remove toxins that build up while we are awake. Sleeping supports our brains to form new pathways that help us learn new things.
Children aged 3-5 years need 10-13 hours of sleep and children aged 6-13 need 9-11 hours of sleep.
How to help our children get the required amount of sleep?
Switch off all devices including TV for at least an hour before bedtime- watching TV close to bedtime has been associated with difficulty falling asleep, bedtime resistance and sleeping fewer hours. Keep all devices out of bedrooms.
Teach your child about the importance of sleep and healthy sleep habits
Set up a regular and consistent sleep routine that is calming eg. devices off, bath, reading time, lights off - this should start around the same time each night.
Provide a good environment for sleeping - dark, quiet and cool.
Curriculum links - Health and Physical Education - L 2 -Personal Growth & Development - Describe their stages of growth and their developmental needs and demonstrate increasing responsibility for self care.