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Are Students Getting Enough Sleep?

Last year, a group of academics from 15 countries found that the stress and anxiety caused by COVID-19 could have long-term impact on children's sleep, physical activity, and screen time.

Indeed, young people in Australia struggled to get a full night's sleep even before the pandemic arrived in this country.

Studies have shown that Australian teens are the third most sleep-deprived globally and that more than 70% of Australian high school students suffer from chronic sleep deprivation.

Dr Lynette Vernon is a School of Education - Edith Cowan University, Vice-Chancellor's Research Fellow. She leads research into establishing good sleep routines and managing technology use before bedtime for our youth to achieve adequate and quality sleep.

Dr Vernon said insufficient quality sleep could lead to depression, low self-esteem, and poor coping, as well as increased unruly behaviours. "Educating children on the importance of sleep and how to get a good night's sleep will go a long way to mitigate mental health problems through to adulthood".

Below, Dr Vernon shares some tips on how students can get a better night's sleep:

  • Set regular bedtimes so as not to confuse the body clock.
  • Take all electronic devices out of all bedrooms and charge them i
    n a place where children can't sneak out and access them during the night.
  • Avoid caffeine, energy drinks and large meals well before bedtime.
  • Commence the conversations with your child before they reach their teens to make sure they understand the effects of not getting enough sleep.