Published on: 18 May 2017

There are a number of things that can interfere with your sleep, including a late/delayed body clock, stress/anxiety, feeling pressured to “do it all” and undervaluing sleep. During high school, around nine hours per night is recommended (but this varies from person to person). A few nights of poor sleep won’t be the end of the world, and there are individual differences in how much sleep we need. Being chronically short of sleep, however, is not helpful for mental, physical or emotional performance and well-being.

Director of The Wynne Centre for Boys’ Health and Wellbeing, Liam Casson, says “Due to numerous factors including the general business of our current lives, sleep is often one of those key aspects that misses out. However, getting enough sleep is so important for our wellbeing that some sleep experts believe we should pay as much importance to the quality of our sleep as we do to diet and exercise.”

“As a school, we aim to take a proactive preventive approach to health and wellbeing and feel it is important to educate our students about the benefits and importance of sleep. We see this as an important learning experience for our staff, students and parents alike and would like to raise awareness particularly as we move into the assessment period of Term 2.”

At the start of term our Year 12 boys received a presentation by Paul Jeffery on the topic of ‘sleep’. Suggestions for healthy sleep habits include:

  • Separate your working/thinking space from your bed
    • And have a clear transition between working and preparing for sleep
  • Limit technology use 
    • Limit phone/screen use one hour before bedtime; use blue light filters
    • Do I really need to be available to my friends at all hours? Is it helping me?
  • Distract a busy mind
    • Consider alternatives to screens (read a book, listen to relaxing music, listen to a Podcast or talking book, Mindfulness apps like Headspace or Smiling Mind)
  • A few minutes of slow breathing
  • Get your thoughts out
    • To-do lists and planning on a sheet of paper
    • Writing down worries (to deal with tomorrow)

Other useful and related topics

Positive Mindset – 7 simple ways to eliminate negative thoughts

Strategies to help reduce and manage stress

It is hoped that this information is found helpful now and into the future, particularly as our Year 12s approach exams.