The Pastoral Care Program at Mount St Benedict College has an emphasis on student well-being.

With the HSC approaching, students in Year 11 have undertaken an innovative workshop series to develop smarter sleep habits.

The Woolcock, Australia’s leading sleep and respiratory health organisation, has teamed up with The Sleep Connection to launch a school-based education program 'Sleep for Better Health, Resilience and Performance' to combat the problem of sleep deprivation in youngsters.

The sleep education program has revealed that many students are failing to get their essential 8-10 hours sleep each night, largely due to the distraction of electronic devices like smartphones, tablets and computers.

“But even more concerning is that most of the students I’m talking to really don’t understand the effect that this lack of sleep is having on their mood, their mental health and their learning,” says Lisa Maltman, from the Woolcock Institute of Medical Research in Sydney and Director of The Sleep Connection.

Mount St Benedict College Year 11 students took part in a one-hour sleep health presentation before completing a two-week sleep diary and a practical workshop to reinforce and personalise the information. The girls learnt not just why they need sleep, but how much they need, what happens during sleep and both the cause and effect of sleep deprivation.

“We aim to boost awareness of sleep deprivation as a real life health issue and empower students with knowledge and practical strategies to make getting a good night’s sleep easier,” Ms Maltman says.

Channel Nine News aired a story on these workshops featuring Mount St Benedict College on Saturday 3 September:

Smart Sleep Habits

  • Create a regular sleep/wake routine
  • Improve your time management skills
  • Clear your mind by setting aside thinking and planning time prior to winding down
  • Have a one hour break between study and sleep
  • Have a one hour break between electronic devices and sleep
  • Keep your bedroom an electronics free zone
  • Keep your bedroom dark, quiet & the right temperature for sleeping
  • Expose yourself to bright light in the morning and dim light at night
  • Keep pen and paper beside your bed to write down anything that pops up in your mind that may concern you and keep you awake if you don’t write it down
  • Choose healthy food and drink
  • Exercise daily, but not too close to bedtime
  • Have a relaxing pre bed wind down routine

Top Tips for Teenagers

  • Limit weekend sleep-ins
  • Avoid caffeine at least 6 hours before bed
  • Get rid of the snooze button: Although you may feel you get a few extra minutes, due to repeatedly waking you up in the wrong part of a new sleep new cycle this can make you wake up feeling groggier
  • Ensure bedroom is well ventilated and not too hot
  • Don’t lie in bed feeling stressed or frustrated: Try to do something to calm down and then give sleep another go