An Abbotsford committee has developed an information campaign aimed at middle school students and their caregivers about the importance of sleep and sleep hygiene.
The project includes resources and fun activities to improve the quality and quantity of sleep that children are getting.
The Abbototsford Middle Years Committee came up with the campaign in response to the 2019 Middle Years Development Instrument (MDI), which was conducted by the Abbotsford school district with students in Grades 4 and 7.
Abbotsford youth in this age group scored lower on this variable of the MDI than kids in other school districts in the province, said Kim Riddell, a member of the committee.
“As such, the Middle Years Committee chose this area to raise awareness on this issue affecting our youth and provide information and support to both the youth and caregivers to create positive change,” she said.
Riddell said the aim of the project is to educate children and their parents, in a culturally safe and inclusive manner, on several options for healthy sleep habits.
The project includes a social media campaign, as well as a number of interactive activities such as yoga and other mindfulness-based and relaxation practices.
Riddell said sleep hygiene refers to habits that aid in getting a good night’s sleep. She said bad behaviours that have been repeated over years or even decades are often the source of common sleeping difficulties, such as insomnia.
“If optimum sleep habits are not met, it can result in lower academic achievement and poor mental health, according to the 2019 MDI findings,” she said.
The campaign says that some of the essential components of getting a restful night’s sleep include a room with a cool temperature, a dark environment, comfortable bedding, limited technology, and books to read before bed.
Abbotsford businesses and individuals have donated prizes that will be distributed over the next few months through the group’s social media accounts (@Abbotsfordsleeps) on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and TikTok.
The Abbotsford Middle Years Committee is made up of individuals who represent organizations that provide services and resources to kids ages six through 12.