Term 3, issue 2 - Minna - Sleep | Siena College
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Rest, Sleep and Exercise during Remote Learning

Junior House Groups have commenced a two part program during weekly wellness lessons on maintaining motivation while learning remotely. Students looked at three key factors of maintaining motivation: nutrition, sleep hygiene and physical activity. Getting to sleep, staying asleep and waking up on time were flagged by the student body as the single greatest issue they were currently facing in isolation. It is important that adolescents get enough sleep each night - the Melbourne Child Psychology service recommend teenagers aim to get 9.25 hours of sleep each night. There are many small adjustments students can make to establish a positive sleep routine. These include:

  • Establishing a window of screen-free time (thirty minutes) prior to going to sleep to help the brain unwind. There is evidence to suggest that the light from screens can affect our sleep patterns
  • Encourage regular sleep/wake times regardless of whether it is a weekday or weekend. A small sleep-in is ok, but this should not be several hours later than you would usual rise.
  • Some experts recommend that sitting in sunshine, or at least outside for fifteen minutes after waking, assists with regulating melatonin levels (the hormone that regulates sleep/wake times)

Grace Mazzacca, Lily Graham and Ava Lacy share their reflections below, along with an insight into what a "day on their plate" looks like:

"Sleep, nutrition and physical activity are all important because without enough sleep we don’t think clearly, without eating healthy foods our bodies don’t function as well and if we don’t keep active you physically don’t feel fit and you are you are not tired when it is time for bed, which affects your sleep. Motivation depends on all three elements working together for a positive day of online learning.

It has been helpful to lean about what happens to your body and your mind if you don’t get enough sleep, nutrition or physical activity. Your mind and body reacted negatively to reduced sleep or physical activity and not having healthy eating habits".
Grace Mazzacca

"I think sleep is especially important in being motivated for online learning because when you don’t have enough sleep you can get distracted and feel moody. Physical activity helps because it gives you time to recharge and slow down. Nutrition helps because having a healthy diet allows you to have a healthy mind. Being reminded in wellness class about these factors makes me think about what I’ve done and what I need to do to make sure I am healthy and energised”.
Ava Lacy

“A good night’s sleep helps you to feel awake, energetic and focused for the day ahead. Nutrition and healthy foods help you to stay healthy and it give you longer lasting energy rather than unhealthy food like sugar which only give us energy for shorter amounts of time. Physical activity and exercise assist you to stay active which improves your health and mental wellbeing. These last wellness sessions have helped me to think about my daily routine of sleep and exercise. This has increased my knowledge of sleep patterns and how I can improve my own”.
Lily Graham

Minna Jewell

Leader of Wellbeing Programs
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