SLEEP AND SCHOOL
Or I should say lack of sleep and school, don’t mix very well.
A common issue that has been arising among students at school lately is getting too little sleep to handle the demands of learning all day. We all need sufficient sleep. For children and youth, 7 to 10 hours per night is recommended.
There is lots of evidence to support that enough sleep time translates into good mental health, making stress, challenging feelings like anxiety, social and academic demands easier to deal with.
Sometimes our sleep schedules get out of whack, for example when students are required to shift to learning from home for a chunk of time, and it can be challenging to get them back to where we need them to be. I’ve talked with lots of teens who are up till the early morning hours and then struggle to wake up in time for classes at 9 am. They want to be here, but they are sooo tired.
A few tips for supporting kids with sleep:
- Put devices away 1-2 hours before bedtime.
2. Head to bed at a time that will ensure at least 8 hours of sleep before you have to wake up. If that means a big shift from the time you’re going to bed now, try making the shift in small amounts over a number of days, like half an hour per day. Then stick to the new schedule every day–consistency is key. Try even on weekends to not diverge too far from your weekday schedule.
3. Don’t nap at other times of the day.
4. If you’re having trouble falling asleep, try listening to relaxing music or an audio meditation. There’s many of these on-line. Reading is another relaxing activity that can be done to help lead into sleep.
Sweet dreams everyone!!
COVID-19 and Your Family’s Mental Health
As we approach what looks to be the second wave of this pandemic, I want to share a few thoughts and resources related to our collective mental health. The presence of this virus in our world has impacted so many aspects of our lives, including our social, emotional and mental health. It’s so important that in the midst of it, we take care of ourselves and those around us.
- Stay informed—but don’t obsessively check the news
Example: Instead of having a continuous news feed running, check in on the latest three times a day.
- Focus on the things you can control
Example: You can’t make anyone else wear a mask, but you can consistently wear one yourself.
- Plan for what you can
Example: If you’re worried about the possibility of a two week quarantine, be proactive and ensure you have what you need on hand if that happens.
- Stay connected—even when physically isolated
Example: Use your phone to connect with the people who you care about and who fill you up.
- Take care of your body and spirit
Example: Take a walk in the bush and really notice the wind in the branches or the bright blue sky or the squirrel chattering in a tree.
- Help others (it will make you feel better)
Example: Rake your neighbour’s leaves or take someone a pot of soup (but wear your mask!).
- Get help if you need it
Example: If you’re feeling overwhelmed, talk to a friend or relative or reach out to one of the counselling resources listed below.
Check out these articles which have many more details on the considerations above:
In the Beardy’s and Okemasis First Nation and Duck Lake area, if you need mental health help, you can get it here:
Rosthern Community Services 1-833-274-4060
Willow Cree Health 467-4402
Rosthern Medical Clinic 232-4894
Duck Lake/Beardy’s Nurse Practitioner 467-8116
Prince Albert Mental Health 765-6055
Saskatoon Mental Health 655-7777
If you have a mental health emergency, you can go to Rosthern Hospital Emergency or call Prince Albert Mobile Crisis (764-1011).
Also, feel free to call me anytime at the school, 467-2185.
–Sandi Hildebrand, School Counsellor
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