April 06, 2022

A Clinician asks… ‘Could Sleep Help End the Youth Mental Health Crisis?’

From the Clinician 

As her previous contribution showed, Dr. Kathleen Mackenzie’s blended insights as a clinician with lived experience provide important perspective.

In a recent piece in Psychology Today, Dr. Mackenzie posed the question, Could Sleep Help End the Youth Mental Health Crisis? and set forth her arguments for targeting improved sleep for our youth. In this article she outlined the importance of sleep to learning and mental health, and the rates at which our students are sleep deprived. 

We also know that getting decent sleep is sometimes easier said than done. Tools are as important as understanding, and Dr. Mackenzie created this chart to outline what to do, and why it matters, on the path to improving sleep.

Sleep Challenge

Dr. Mackenzie also provided another tool she created to help her students assess their sleep and learn approaches to improving sleep duration and quality. Check out the 10 Day Student Sleep Challenge to see if these changes can help the youth in your life.

While many of us are concerned about our kids, we often neglect sleep or suffer from a variety of sleep conditions ourselves. Some of these may require consideration of physical health conditions such as sleep apnea or the impact of medications. Alternatively, it may be a matter of changing habits and, if so, the adult version of the 10 Day Sleep Challenge may prove helpful.

Improved sleep can have significant effects on both mind and body. Getting enough sleep is necessary for the REM sleep that facilitates dreams and helps us process emotions. So rest up, and sweet dreams!