Mrs Chilton
Head of Student Wellbeing

As winter sets in, we are seeing a rise in illness in students in the Senior School. It is important that students stay at home if they are too unwell to be at school. If students start to feel unwell in the school day, they should go to the Health Centre which is staffed from 7:00am – 5:30pm by Nurse Jennifer and Nurse Caity for support. Students should not be emailing or messaging parents throughout the day if they are sick. If your daughter messages you to tell you she in unwell, please tell her to go and visit the Health Centre as a first step.

It is also important, particularly during seasons of illness, that students are getting enough sleep. At Meriden we recommend that girls be getting a minimum of eight hours’ sleep a night in line with sleep research. The message about good sleep is one that we regularly convey to the girls, but sometimes, despite our best intentions, there are things that get in the way of good sleep:

  • Irregular weekly bedtimes and weekend sleep-ins: This confuses the body clock
  • Sensory overload/multitasking: Flicking between homework, technology, etc. creates a wired inefficient brain that finds it hard to wind down and go to sleep
  • Using electronic devices too close to bedtime: The blue light emitted from the devices inhibits the hormone melatonin that helps us sleep. Adding to this the device content excites the brain making it hard to go to sleep
  • Studying too late: Tired brains are slow and inefficient. This creates the cycle of taking longer to do homework, which delays bedtime further
  • Exercising too close to bedtime: This can raise body temperature and cortisol levels making it harder for some people to fall asleep soon afterwards
  • Poor bed association: Using technology and doing other activities in/on bed leads to mixed messages to the brain that bed is for restful sleep
  • Stimulant use: Caffeine, energy drinks, alcohol, drugs all impact on sleep quality

If you are concerned about your daughter’s sleep habits, please have a conversation with her Year Coordinator to address what changes might be able to be made to help her get enough sleep.