Supporting pupil mental health: Sleep and screen time


This bitesize CPD collection is part of a series of online micro learning units for teachers and school leaders on supporting pupil mental health and wellbeing in practice. The units offer insights into best practice in supporting children and young people, building on the latest evidence base. They are designed to develop knowledge around a range of topics that now form part of the statutory Relationship, Sex and Health Education (RSHE) curriculum, supporting teachers to consider how they might most effectively deliver these topics as part of the curriculum. Specifically, topics covered include:


These online micro learning units incorporate a range of content types to support professional learning and reflective practice, including:

  • Recordings from ‘Pedagogy in practice’ – a webinar series developed in partnership with The Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health (ACAMH) with a focus on how to teach key topics aligned with the RSHE curriculum
  • Access to a Padlet with ideas and resources shared by teachers
  • Case studies from practising teachers and school leaders and research reviews summarising the latest evidence base
  • Reflective questions to support learning and reading lists signposting further sources and support.


This online learning is being supported by the Bupa Foundation and the Association of Child and Adolescent Mental Health (ACAMH).


Sleep and screen time

Research has shown that high-quality sleep has a positive impact on children’s mental health and their academic achievement, yet adolescents in particular may often not get enough sleep, which can negatively impact their wellbeing and performance. The debate about screen time and its potential impact on sleep and concentration has also been well-publicised, if not always in the most balanced way. As teachers and school leaders, it can sometimes feel hard to make an impact on these areas, as many decisions around sleep and screen-time routines are taken outside the school and within families.

Schools have an important role to play in raising students’ and teachers’ awareness about the importance of sleep and the impact of screen time on students’ wellbeing and their academic achievement. This micro learning unit includes articles and resources on supporting pupils to understand why good quality sleep matters and how it can be achieved, as well as key considerations about screen time and its possible effects both on sleep and more widely.


This webinar included presentations by Amy Sayer FCCT, Clare Erasmus FCCT and Alex McLean and featured Jan Forshaw (Head of Education, Coram Life Education) and Jonathan Baggaley (CEO, PSHE Association) as panelists.

The presentation by Clare Erasmus is featured below, and the presentations by Alex McLean and Amy Sayer as well as the panel Q&A are available to watch. Further details are on the event page of our Video Hub.

Clare Erasmus presentation transcript download

Alex McLean presentation transcript download

Amy Sayer presentation transcript download

Sleep and Screen Time Q&A transcript download



Made with Padlet


Articles and case studies

Hear about approaches to supporting pupils to understand the importance of sleep and the impact of screen time on wellbeing and academic achievement. We invite you to make notes on the approaches and research reported on in these articles to inform your own next steps and consider how you might apply some of these insights in your own setting.

Sleep to succeed: effects of sleep deprivation on academic performance
Adolescent sleep and educational performance
Supporting good sleep hygiene for pupils: A case study
Sleep routines and pupil mental health: A case study
Supporting pupils to adopt good sleep hygiene using the HEAL principles: A case study
Impacts of excessive screen time on children and young people

Research Review

This research review discusses debates around the use of technology and the internet by young children.

Digital media use in young children

Reflective questions


  • Do you think a whole school approach to sleep and screen time could work in your setting?
  • What strategies do you currently use to engage students, staff and parents in the development of good sleep hygiene? What new strategies might you begin to apply in your context?
  • What are the barriers to engaging parents in your context and how might these barriers be overcome?
  • What factors are affecting the quality of your students’ sleep and how could these approaches help support your students to achieve good quality sleep?
  • How would a focus on quantity and quality of screen time help your students and staff?


Further reading

This reading list collates articles and resources on supporting pupils to understand the importance of sleep and the impact of screen time on wellbeing and academic achievement.

Sleep and screen time: Selected reading