There’s no doubt about it, a good night’s sleep can make the world of difference to
both your child’s physical and mental health, but what about their academic
As a former Deputy Headteacher and Baby, Child and Autism Sleep Specialist, I
have witnessed first-hand, time and time again, what a huge impact sleep can have
Studies have found that a good night’s sleep means your child will have:
better attention and concentration skills,
their ability to retain information and memories will increase,
they will develop better problem-solving skills,
they’ll be able to regulate their emotions, leading to less challenging behaviour and
more willingness to comply with the tasks that have been set for them.
Research by The Sleep Foundation actually found that not getting enough sleep lowers academic progress by as much as 40%!
The school day is jam-packed with information for your child to digest. It’s fast-paced
and can be quite intense at times so being on the ball and able to give learning their
full attention is key if they are going to succeed academically. When they learn
something new, the best way to retain what they have learnt is to sleep on it.
That’s because when we sleep it helps to strengthen memories and the brain makes
connections with other information; it consolidates the learning so it becomes stored
in their long-term memory and they can draw upon it in the future. Research has also
found that sleep helps children to come up with new and creative ideas – it really is
beneficial in so many ways!
Sadly, in the classroom, I did teach children who were not getting the sleep they
needed. They would be slumped at their desks, yawning, with bags under their eyes,
unable to sit up and concentrate because they were so tired. Tasks like reading
would be a challenge because they could not focus and recall what they had read
previously. They had no idea of the plot, meaning their comprehension was severely
When writing, they would find organising their ideas difficult; sentences would
become muddled, punctuation missed and the text would be very disjoined. And it’s
no wonder, standards for writing in schools have raised significantly in the last 10-15
years, there’s a lot to remember in terms of grammar, sentence structure and
spelling – if you’re not alert and well-rested, it would be difficult for anyone to keep
When children have had the rest the need they find it much easier to write at
length, their stamina and endurance is significantly better, meaning their work is of higher quality.
The additional issue to being sleep deprived is that your posture suffers. Your child
will not be able to sit up straight if they are tired and this might not seem like a big
deal, but if they are slumped at their desk, it’s likely that they aren’t going to be able
to give their full attention to the teacher, but also the presentation or their work will
not be at its best – and there’s a lot to be said for being proud of the work you put
out. If the teacher is able to praise them because they have worked really hard on
their handwriting and presentation, it will motivate them to continue producing work
of an equally high standard.
Sleep is ESSENTIAL for your child’s well-being and getting a good night’s sleep can
have such a huge impact on their future; this is why I am so passionate about
helping families to achieve a good night’s sleep. I know it IS possible for every child
to sleep well and that’s what I can help you with. As their parent you CAN help them.
You CAN do something about it so that they develop great sleep habits that will set
them up to thrive and be successful.
If you’d like help with your child’s sleep, reach out and get in touch. We can have a
chat about what’s happening and I’ll let you know a bit more about how I can support
you to get your family the sleep you deserve!
Lindsey Clark, BA (Hons), QTS, is a Baby, Child & Autism Sleep Specialist and Founder of Peaceful Sleep Secret. Based in Hampshire, England, she has successfully helped improve sleep for hundreds of families worldwide through her 1-1 packages, group support programs, courses and workshops.
About Peaceful Sleep Secret:
Lindsey supports families using gentle, bespoke approaches so that babies and children get long-lasting quality sleep. She believes all families are completely unique and therefore all the sleep plans she devise are completely bespoke. Her ongoing support is also available so that she can reassure and coach you through the process to get you to your final sleep goal, ensuring long-term success.