As children across the country return to the classroom after the summer break, NHS doctor and TV personality Dr Ranj has been visiting pupils and parents to talk about the importance of a good night’s sleep.
It’s all part of a countrywide School of Sleep Roadshow, organised by national furniture retailer Furniture Village in collaboration with The Sleep Charity, whose joint mission is to support the nation when it comes to sleep.
Dr Ranj is Furniture Village’s Sleep and Wellness Ambassador and has visited pupils and parents in Birmingham, Manchester and York so far, offering sleep health tips for the whole family, including simple steps that can be taken to establish a good bedtime routine, including:
- Creating a sleep-ready environment – somewhere cool, comfortable, dark, dry and quiet.
- Reducing screen time – discouraging the use of electronic devices (like tablets, gaming devices or phones) for at least an hour before bedtime.
- Helping alleviate any fears – speaking with children about any worries earlier in the day or asking them to write their feelings down or draw a picture to describe them.
A staggering 50% of children and 40% of adults will have an issue with sleep at some point in their lifetime, whether that be getting to sleep or staying asleep through the night. Alongside this, studies have shown that if children struggle to sleep, their parents will too.
Dr Ranj, Sleep and Wellness Ambassador for Furniture Village, said: “As a doctor, I know that sleep is just as essential for health and wellbeing as a balanced diet and regular exercise. And while children learn about the importance of nutrition and movement, it struck me that they aren’t taught the importance of a good night’s sleep, which is why I joined forces with Furniture Village and The Sleep Charity to devise this programme.
“I was thrilled to be given the opportunity to speak to parents and children about a topic I’m so passionate about and hope that some of the sleep strategies and practical advice we are offering can make a tangible difference to the whole family’s wellbeing.”
In addition to his trips to Birmingham, Manchester and York, the roadshow will also see Dr Ranj visit schools in Berkshire and Bristol.
Dr Ranj added: “Sleep is always a hot topic for parents. When you combine that with having to adjust sleep schedules after six weeks off school, it can be an incredibly challenging and stressful time for children, parents and teachers.
“Sleep can have a huge impact on a child’s concentration as well as their behaviour and mood, both at home and in the classroom, which is why we’ll be offering practical advice for both children and adults to improve their quality of sleep as well as signposting parents to the free resources available on the Sleep Charity’s website.”
Dr Ranj has worked closely with Furniture Village and the Sleep Charity on a number of key campaigns, including the introduction of the UK’s first National Sleep Helpline.
Launched last September, the free service is operated by specialist trained advisors and aims to provide support and guidance for those struggling to sleep. Those looking for help can call 03303 530 540, Sunday – Thursday between 7 – 9 pm (Wednesdays 9am-11am).
Lisa Artis, deputy CEO of the Sleep Charity, says: “It’s never too early to start talking about the value of a good night’s sleep, which is why we are delighted to be able facilitate the assemblies with Dr Ranj and Furniture Village.
“Working in partnership with families is at the heart of what we do, so being able to talk directly to parents and pupils is an invaluable opportunity to spread the word about the support that’s available to them.”