Inclusion Sleep Project
Friday 18th March was World Sleep Day – a day to recognise and promote the benefits of good, healthy sleep and to highlight the difficulties many of us may experience with this.
As part of their work around this, local specialist education provider Inclusion Hampshire, are using this day to launch their Sleep Project – designed to support and develop better sleep health for their learners.
The charity, which provides education and support for young people with mental health and additional needs, are passionate about this issue as they witness first hand the challenges and difficulties lack of proper sleep can have on the learners they work with.
Jane Gardner, Pastoral and Referrals Manager and Sleep Champion said, ‘ Sleep is vital to our mental health and well-being. It has a huge impact on mood, concentration level, emotional resilience, reaction times and cognitive abilities – as well as the resulting problems in regular attendance and engagement with education. Many of our learners have a difficult relationship with sleep – be that due to anxieties and stress which inhibit sleep, previous traumatic experiences or in some cases losing natural sleeping patterns where they may stay up through the night and then need to sleep during the day.’
‘Our project aims to support young people and their families to regain control of this vital life skill and enable them to have a more positive relationship with sleep.’
Working with learners and families, Jane will be helping to explore the causes of sleep disturbance and supporting methods and behaviours to change these developed patterns.
This could include advice around creating a restful environment, making the sleeping space dark and noise free and ensuring no electronics or devices at least an hour before bedtime.
Each learner in the project will also be provided with a Sleep Care Kit, containing sleep mask, ear plugs, pillow spray and notebook and pen – all designed to give learners the tools to improve their sleep behaviours.
As part of the launch, all learners across both sites at Inclusion Learning Centre in Chineham and Inclusion College in Hook will be asked to complete a sleep survey to assess their current sleep behaviours as well as working with tutors and in groups to explore what can cause sleep problems and ways they could alleviate these.
The project was made possible via funding from BNI International.
Jane continued, ‘ This is such an important project – prolonged sleep deprivation or disturbance can have real impact on our physical and mental health. By working with learners and their families, we are hoping to find ways to support real change in these behaviours and a greater understanding of the benefits of sleep. Although it may sound like a basic skill, it really is such an important step to their future mental health and well-being. Thanks so much to BNI for supporting this project.’