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Sleep

School-aged children need between 9 and 11 hours of sleep per night depending on age. Not getting enough sleep is common in children and young people. Sleep deprivation can be caused by any number of issues including; irregular routines, worries, screen use and late bedtimes.

Teenagers have the added complication of a biological shift to go to sleep and wake later – which is at odds with the school day.

Not getting enough sleep affects children and young people’s ability to think, handle stress, maintain healthy immune systems and regulate their emotions.

In school you might notice a child is sleep deprived because;

  • They are irritable, easily upset, defiant, lethargic or hyperactive.
  • Have poor focus and motivation – don’t meet their potential.
  • Fall asleep at inappropriate times.
  • Eat and drink too much.

Children and young people who are not getting enough sleep often have high levels of lateness and/or low school attendance. Poor sleep can be a serious obstacle to children and young people’s education and attainment.

  • Along with a healthy diet and regular activity good sleep hygiene can make a big difference to the outcomes for children and young people.

    Whilst sleep ‘happens’ at home the fallout from sleep deprivation is seen in school.

    Helping children and their families understand the value of sleep is important. Offering some support to establish healthy habits can mean children come to school better able to learn and engage positively in school life.

    Good Sleep Hygiene

    By Day

    • Be active.
    • Eat well and at regular intervals.

    Get the room right at night

    • Not too hot or cold.
    • Dark (low level night lights are ok).
    • Comfy bed.

    Get the build up right

    • Same bedtime and get up time each day.
    • ‘Wind down’ activities – bath time, reading, quiet play.
    • Avoid stimulating activities like 'exciting’ computer games.
    • Stop screen use at least an hour before bed (the blue light from screen time gets in the way of melatonin –the ‘sleep hormone’).

    If children and young people struggle to get to sleep then using relaxation techniques can help. The Mental Health Foundation have some available *here*

    If insomnia or early waking is an ongoing problem it can be indicative of low mood and may need onward referral for assessment call Just One Number for advice.

  • Nuffield Health School Wellbeing Activity Programme (SWAP) - free 6 week programme of evidence based lessons delivered in six one hour sessions.  The programme is aimed at children aged 9-12 years old but can be adapted for other school age children.  The four key themes are:

    • How I Move - focusing on physical activity.
    • How I Eat - focusing on sugar content of food and drinks, hydration, fruit and vegetables.
    • How I Sleep - focusing on sleep, sleep hygiene and screen time.
    • How I Feel - focusing on emotional wellbeing and resilience.

    'All Our Health' free, bite-sized e-learning sessions (Public Health England) - to improve the knowledge, confidence and skills of health and care professionals in preventing illness, protecting health and promoting wellbeing.

    The sessions cover some of the biggest issues in public health including;

    • Childhood obesity.
    • Pollution.
    • Alcohol misuse.
    • Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR).

    They contain signposting to trusted sources of helpful evidence, guidance and support to help professionals embed prevention in their everyday practice.

     

How Can We Help?

Just One Number Call to speak to a health professional by phoning 0300 300 0123. They will be able to provide initial advice and support and guide next steps with us or signpost you to other more relevant agencies and professionals. It is available 08.00 to 18.00 Monday to Friday and 09.00 to 13.00 on Saturdays.

Referrals for support are made by contacting Just One Number on 0300 300 0123. Please make sure you have the consent of the parent and / or young person before you make a referral to us. You do not need to fill out any paperwork prior to this call.

Referrals are made via the telephone to enable us to have an informative conversation with you at the point of referral so we can ensure we have all the required information for early triage and assessment of the child, young person or family. This will ensure the referral gets managed by the appropriate team in a more timely way or we can signpost you to a more appropriate service.

ChatHealth Children and Young people can access us through our text messaging service on 07480635060. They will be able to discuss any health concerns with one of our Practitioners and also be able to request an appointment if they would prefer to meet with us.

Parent Line Parents can access our services by texting our number 07520631590 . This allows them to access the advice and support from a clinician about any health issues affecting their children aged 0-19.

Just One Norfolk Health Passport app Young people age 16-19 can download this app on Apple or Android phones. It provides young people age 16-19 with general health information and advice to increase health literacy. It signposts to services and promotes self care. It aims to increase resilience and wellbeing and to find out how to access health services.

Health Unlocked Parents can be signposted to this. It is a carefully monitored online community forum which allows local parents and carers to talk with each other regarding issues affecting their children. This can be accessed through our Just One Norfolk website.

Solihull Parenting Online For our Norfolk parents there is the opportunity to access this free of charge through Just One Norfolk. It supports parents in understanding their children from 0-19 via 4 modules. Staff working with children and families will also benefit from this – or they can book to do the two day Solihull Training provided by our service by contacting karin.bibby@nhs.net. While COVID-19 restrictions are in place please contact Karin Bibby to register your interest in virtual training as this becomes available.

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