Schools to give sleep lessons as late nights exhaust pupils and 1 in 6 falls asleep in class each day

The Herald is reporting that the Scottish government is to spend £200k on sleep lessons for secondary school pupils after research  found nearly half of first year secondary school pupils had stayed up to 3am at least twice during the previous fortnight and only three out of 230 were achieving the recommended sleep levels for their age…

Parents regularly face a battle to make their children switch off their games consoles and computers and go to bed at night.

Teachers are then faced with exhausted pupils in the classroom each morning because they have not had enough sleep.

Now the Scottish Government is to spend £200,000 on sleep lessons for secondary school pupils who will be taught how to achieve at least nine hours’ sleep a night in a bid to boost academic performance.

The cash – £100,000 a year for two years – will be handed to a charity who will give parents, teachers and sixth-formers sleep lessons in a move welcomed by teaching unions.

Recent research at a Scottish high school found one in six pupils falls asleep at their desk every day.

The public money will be given to Sleep Scotland, which has successfully piloted sleep lessons at West Calder High, West Lothian.

Schools in Glasgow, Edinburgh and the Lothians, Grampian and the Highlands will now receive sleep lessons, delivered by teachers and sixth-form mentors.

Janet Lindsay, the charity’s development manager for Sound Sleep, said: “With the funding, we aim to raise awareness with young people about how important sleep is.

“We will provide sleep lesson packs in order to give schools more guidance, as well as training senior pupils, who can then act as mentors and run lunchtime workshops with younger pupils. We will also get mentors involved in parents’ evenings.”

Ms Lindsay said children were staying up too late playing on computers and using other new technology.

She added: “Technology is a big problem. Young people do not realise they shouldn’t have any technology, such as an X Box, for the hour before they go to sleep, as it tricks their brain into thinking it’s still daytime. What they need is a dim, relaxing environment before going to bed.

“Teenagers should aim to get around nine hours sleep a night, but at a recent workshop I found only three children out of 230 had that much sleep a night. Most were getting around five or six, which counts as chronic sleep deprivation.

“Sleep affects the mental wellbeing of children, it affects their mood, and their ability to retain information.”

The research at West Calder also found almost half of first years had stayed up until at least 3am on at least two occasions in the previous fortnight.

Two-fifths of them admitted they had stayed up all night twice or more in the same period.

More at:  Schools to give sleep lessons as late nights exhaust pupils

Do you have pupils falling asleep in class? Are you surprised by the figures described in the article for the amount of sleep teenagers are actually getting? How much of an impact do you believe this to be having? Most importantly, what, if anything, can be done to change the situation so teenagers get more sleep?  Please share your thoughts in the comments below, on Twitter or by using this form 

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