Ask the Expert ‘Improving Children’s Sleep; The role a teacher can play’ – recording

Matt Kempen
Marketing Manager for ACAMH

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For this session welcomed Dr. Faith Orchard to discuss ‘Improving Children’s Sleep; The role a teacher can play’. Dr. Orchard also answered questions in a session facilitated by leading education professional Professor Barry Carpenter.

ACAMH Members can receive a CPD certificate, simply email and let us know the date and time that you watched the recording.

Dr. Faith Orchard’s slides

Dr. Orchard is a highly respected lecturer and published researcher. She is an international conference speaker, and has talked on the subject of sleep to numerous news outlets, including the BBC, and is the co-author of ACAMH’s Sleep Topic Guide.

About the ‘Ask the Expert’ sessions

This FREE ‘Ask the Expert’ online event is exclusively for Teachers, and offers insights into the latest evidence-base around sleep and its relationship to mental wellbeing. They are brought to you as part of an exciting new partnership between The Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health (ACAMH) and Coram Life Education (CLE), two charities who are dedicated to making a difference to the mental wellbeing of children and young people.

We are trialling these sessions events in order to help close the knowledge gap in a range of topics that now form part of the statutory Relationship, Sex and Health Education (RSHE) curriculum, we think it is important to help equip teachers with knowledge in areas that may be less familiar to them, which is grounded in academic rigour.

These trial ‘Ask the Expert’ sessions are primarily aimed at knowledge building, we will be working on other initiatives to help evolve pedagogical approaches based on the evidence we share with you at the trial events, with more details to follow.

About the event

Getting a good night’s sleep is essential for children’s wellbeing, but it is common, particularly for those in high-risk groups, to have difficulty with their sleep. Lack of sleep can lead to increase attention difficulties, hyperactivity, aggressive behaviour, mood swings, and anxiety. Loss of sleep also affects cognitive function, as even limited sleep deprivation has been shown to result in a measurable deficit in cognitive performance.

But what, as a teacher, can you do?

Understanding the latest sleep disorders research and its relationship with wellbeing can help improve ‘sleep hygiene’, the routine set leading to bedtime on how to get sleep, and to stay asleep.

Key Takeaways

  • Find out about the latest evidence-base on sleep and its relationship with wellbeing
  • Discover the role sleep plays in depression and anxiety and the impact that this can have on life at school for your pupils, and what you can do to help
  • Actions you can take to assist young people on how to get to sleep, and to stay asleep.


ACAMH Sleep Topic Guide by Professor Alice Gregory and Dr. Faith Orchard

‘Self‐reported sleep patterns and quality amongst adolescents: cross‐sectional and prospective associations with anxiety and depression’ – video abstract from Dr. Faith Orchard

‘Sleep, anxiety, and depression’ – CAMHS around the campfire with Dr. Faith Orchard

In conversation podcast – Sleep and mental health with Dr. Faith Orchard

Research Digests on Sleep papers from ACAMH’s journals Journal of Child Psychology & Psychiatry (JCPP) and Child & Adolescent Mental Health (CAMH)

About the Speakers

Dr. Faith Orchard
Dr. Faith Orchard

The aim of Dr. Faith Orchard’s research is to develop an understanding of the causal and maintaining factors involved in adolescent depression, including negative thinking patterns and sleep disturbances. Faith is also interested in the development of novel treatments for the prevention and early intervention of adolescent depressive symptoms. She is a lecturer at the University of Sussex, and was previously based at the Anxiety and Depression in Young People (AnDY) Research Clinic at the University of Reading.

Barry Carpenter
Professor Barry Carpenter

Professor Barry Carpenter has been appointed to the ACAMH Board with special responsibility for disseminating our work to schools, teachers, and others involved in the education of children and young people. Barry is the UK’s first Chair of Mental Health in Education, at Oxford Brookes University

In a career spanning more than 40 years, Barry has held the leadership positions of Headteacher, Principal, Academic Director, Chief Executive, Inspector of Schools and Director of the Centre for Special Education at Westminster College, Oxford. In 2009, he was appointed by the Secretary of State for Education as Director of the Children with Complex Learning Difficulties and Disabilities Research Project. Since completing that research, Barry has overseen the development of a national project developing online ‘Training materials for teachers of children with severe, profound and complex learning disabilities’

Full bio on ACAMH Board page


Coram Life Education

Coram Life Education is the leading provider of relationships, health, wellbeing, and drugs education to almost half a million children across the UK, delivered under the strapline ‘Helping Children Make Healthy Choices’. Trained Educators use evidence-based, interactive, creative methods and resources to stimulate curiosity and imagination amongst children in 1 in 10 English and Scottish primary schools (2,041 schools).

Our memorable life skills sessions are currently delivered as ‘Life Base’ in school or as ‘SCARF Live Online’ sessions via Zoom. Coram Life Education takes a three strand approach addressing children’s knowledge, skills and attitudes, and programmes are aligned with the National Curriculum (Citizenship, PSHE Education), covering all Key Stages. Coram Life Education helps schools meet their statutory requirements for Relationships and Health Education, children’s Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural development, and Ofsted inspection criteria for personal development, behaviour and welfare. Coram Life Education’s programmes are also aligned with Scotland’s Curriculum for Excellence. Recognising the role of the community and home life in influencing children’s choices, we design our programme with schools and deliver special sessions and assemblies for parents and carers to amplify our effectiveness.


As a teacher of 25++ years, 20 in Secondary settings, the topic of sleep is raised regularly. I have taught students, held meetings with parents, training sessions on the importance of sleep, particularly at times of increase stress, for example examination anxiety, and often come up with issues of over crowding with younger siblings sharing rooms, no space to call one’s own. My question is how can we support students who are victims of economics?

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