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WELLBEING - Sleep and Wellbeing

Sleep is important for everyone’s health and wellbeing.

Did you know that the average amount of daily sleep for adults has declined from 8.5 hours in the 1960s to a current nightly amount of 6.8 hours – this is a drop of about 20%. This is having a critical impact on the overall health and wellbeing of our population.

Additionally, teenagers are the most sleep-deprived segment of the population. This is a very underrecognised problem and the cost to society in the healthy development of young people is profound.

Sleep is vital for wellbeing. When we sleep well, we are more settled, happier and ready for the next day. Sleep also strengthens our immune systems, supports overall development and their ability to function properly.

For children, sleep is especially important for growth, learning and memory consolidation and good emotional development. Children who do not get enough sleep show increased levels of aggressive behaviour, are less attentive and are much less active.

Children also report on the positive impact of good sleep and wellbeing.

The ABC’s ‘Behind the News’ kids program’s latest ‘Happiness Survey’ of almost 47,000 children, has found that having a good night’s sleep is a key indicator of a child’s wellbeing. Children who regularly have the recommended hours of sleep each night reported significantly higher levels of both happiness and feelings of safety.

Ensuring your child and teenagers are well slept is a significant way to protect and support their wellbeing.

For more information see: newsletter/sleep

For tips on how to improve sleep in children and teenagers: school-age/sleep/better-sleep/ sleep-better-tips