Lesson powerpoint here.

This lesson focuses on 3 things:

  1. Why human beings need sleep.
  2. What gets in the way of a good night’s sleep.
  3. Practical steps for improving sleep.

 Why humans need sleep.

  • Ask pupils if they know how much sleep they need and if they know how sleep needs vary for different people.
  • Show pupils the slide which explains how much sleep we need at different stages of life.
  • Ask pupils to take 5 minutes to find out why human beings need sleep.
  • Feed back and discuss as a whole class.
  • Show pupils the checklist and go through each one, giving them the chance to understand them.

Sleep deprivation.

  • Show pupils the slide with the data from the 2017 Exeter survey on sleep habits amongst Wellington pupils.
  • Ask the pupils to briefly discuss why they think sleep deprivation might increase with age at Wellington.
  • Feed back and discuss as a whole class.
  • Play pupils this clip from The Truth About Sleep. Ask them to come up with answers to the questions on the slide.
  • Ask pupils to work in small groups to come up with some of the symptoms of sleep deprivation.
  • Feed back as a whole class.
  • Show pupils the slide with the symptoms of sleep deprivation on. These are not necessarily direct consequences of sleep deprivation, but may be indicators that an individual is not getting enough sleep.

Improving our sleep.

  • In order to develop good sleep habits, we need to be aware of what interferes with sleep: the human body is generally pretty good at getting sleep because it has its own clock which responds to light levels, but some elements of modern life make it more challenging.
  • Ask pupils in small groups to identify some of the things that make it difficult to get a good night’s sleep.
  • Feed back and discuss as a whole class.
  • Show pupils the slide with the list of things that make sleep difficult. Ask pupils to identify how many of these things they do.
  • Play this video from the Mindfulness in Schools Project on beditation: it is an explanation of rumination and catastrophising (overthinking) and a practice to show how to manage it to get a good night’s sleep:
  • Ask pupils to individually make a plan to improve their own sleep over the next 2 weeks: also point out to them that there are sleep apps available.

Prep: ask pupils to put their sleep plan into action over the next 2 weeks and to write about how they get on.