The importance of sleep
29th November 2019
All teachers know that tired students make for poor learners. John Dabell looks at what the research tells us about why sleep is a fundamental part of the thinking and learning process.
Without a good night’s sleep, our alertness, cognitive function, psycho-motor coordination and mood all go out the window. Our concentration and memory are noticeably affected and we get grumpy. Indeed, a lack of sleep is major risk factor for mistakes and poor decision-making.
Tiredness directly affects our productivity, emotional balance, brain and heart health, immune system, creativity, vitality, and even our weight. It compromises our cardiovascular health, energy balance, and ability to fight infections. There is also a higher risk of obesity, diabetes, injuries, poor mental health, and problems with attention and behaviour.
Indeed, neuroscientist Matthew Walker in Why We Sleep (2017) and clinical psychologist Vicki Culpin in The Business of Sleep (2018) warn that regularly sleeping less than seven hours a night is a disaster for our mental and physical wellbeing.
Eight hours a night is often quoted as being the magic figure, but the optimum sleeping time varies across ages and is affected by several factors, including lifestyle and health.
Although everyone differs in their vulnerability to sleep deprivation, performance is impaired when someone achieves two hours less sleep than required and performance deteriorates progressively with an accumulating sleep debt...
Private school head ‘would rather close down’ than become a state school
The head of a private school has said he would rather close down than see it become part of the state system.
Magnus Bashaarat, of the £37,000-a-year Bedales in Hampshire, made the claim in the wake of the Labour Party conference voting to "integrate" private schools with the public sector.
He said: “Were I to be given the ultimatum tomorrow, that Bedales be made a state school, and that it should follow the national curriculum and policymakers’ preoccupations with the transfer of knowledge and disregard for humanities and the arts, I would decline. I would rather we shut our doors.”