Understanding the Importance of Sleep this Children’s Mental Health Week

7th February 2019

Pupils from a leading North Yorkshire school are finding out more about the benefits of a good night’s sleep as part of a national campaign aimed at promoting a healthy approach to wellbeing, both ‘inside and out.’

Cundall Manor School, based between Ripon and Thirsk, have dedicated a day to promote the positive impact sleep can have on mental health and wellbeing as the school participates in the nationwide Children’s Mental Health Week.

Tracy and Chloe from the Healthy Child Team from the Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust were on hand to provide tailored sessions on how to sleep well including tips on diet, use of digital technology and how to relax.

Vicky Lee, School Nurse at Cundall Manor, organised the event. She said: “Sleep deprivation can impact on mental, physical and emotional health. For many parents bedtime can be a daily battle with children finding any excuse not to go to sleep. This can lead to children being so tired they struggle to pay attention in class. Increasing good quality sleep can improve young people’s health and wellbeing.”

She adds: “The 5-19 Healthy Child Service visited school running Sleep Workshops with all the pupils from Reception through to Year 11. They tailored each workshop to the year group and provided advice on establishing good sleep habits, how much sleep you need, sleep stoppers, screen time and relaxation techniques.”

New research released by Children’s Mental Health charity, Place2Be, suggests that children with less sleep are more likely to struggle with worries. Children and young people who usually get less than the recommended 9 hours sleep on a school night are more likely to feel that worries get in the way of school work (32% vs 22%), according to a survey of over 1,100 10-11 year-olds and 13-15 year-olds carried out by Place2Be.

The North Yorkshire school is also hosting a series of mindfulness sessions across the week, allowing pupils the chance to reflect and be consciously aware of their thoughts and feelings.

Wellbeing support teacher at Cundall Manor, Diane Riddell, said: “Mindfulness exercises are a super way to reflect. With so many pressures on our time and distractions built-in to modern day life, it is no wonder concepts such as mindfulness are growing in popularity.”

To find out more about Children’s Mental Health Week, visit their website at www.childrensmentalhealthweek.org.uk