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Wednesday, 15 Jun 2016

PDHPE: Value of sleep in balancing a healthy lifestyle

Sleep efficiency and healthy sleep patterns are essential for child and adolescent growth and development. Research suggests sleep plays an important role in memory, both before and after learning, which means it is an important factor in improving academic performance.

Schools play an important role in developing the knowledge, skills and attitudes young people need to balance their lifestyle for healthy living. The mandatory PDHPE K–6 and Year 7–10 syllabus acknowledges the link between a balanced lifestyle and good health. Students develop skills to manage stress, prioritise sleep and make positive health choices.

In PDHPE K-6, students explore:
• positive health practices including basic human needs
• how positive health choices can promote wellbeing
• balancing lifestyle components for optimal health
• the importance of adequate rest and nutrition
• cultural influences on nutrition, physical activity and a young person’s decisions.

In PDHPE Years 7-10, students explore:
• the benefits of a balanced lifestyle which includes rest, sleep and physical activity
• the role and impact of stress on health
• a range of positive management strategies to support good health, eg yoga, relaxation, physical activity and listening to music
• available support services and skills to access health information, products and services.

To complement the PDHPE curriculum, schools often run their own programs in Years 11-12. In NSW Department of Education schools, this is done through the Crossroads program. The Crossroads syllabus suggests content and resources explicitly designed to address positive wellbeing, engagement, mindfulness and the importance of sleep. In Catholic and independent schools, these areas are usually addressed through pastoral care or wellbeing programs, which could include workshops on sleep efficiency, nutrition and physical activity, mindfulness, relaxation and time management.

The Sleep Health Foundation Australia is raising awareness of sleep disorders and the value of sleep efficiency during Sleep Awareness Week from Monday 4 July to Sunday 10 July.

For more information relating to the role sleep plays in achieving a balanced lifestyle, visit the following websites:

Free apps available to download:

For more information, contact:
Amy Harriman
Senior Curriculum Officer, PDHPE
(02) 9367-8317