In the lead up to Year 12 exams across the country, new research by youth mental health organisation ReachOut
has found that over 50 per cent of students are having trouble sleeping as a direct result of study stress.For broadcast quality video and high-res images, please visit the Multimedia News Release: http://news.medianet.com.au/reachout/new-research-reachout
The survey, of over 1000 young people aged 16 - 25 years conducted in August 2023, also looked at the specific impacts study stress was having on students’ sleep. The data found that of the students who indicated that their sleep was impacted by study stress: 65 per cent reported sleeping less, 59 per cent had difficulty waking up, 57 per cent said they were staying up late to study and 22 per cent said they were sleeping more. These figures indicate that many students are experiencing a number of these impacts on their sleep.
In line with the research findings, ReachOut has released new support for young people to help them get a good night’s sleep. And, there is also new information and tips for parents and carers of students too.
Jackie Hallan, Director of Service at ReachOut, said that now was an important time for Year 12 students to focus on their wellbeing, including their sleep.
“ReachOut’s new research highlights the real impacts that study stress can have on the lives of students. Sleep, in particular, can be an important indicator of how the stress associated with Year 12 might be impacting a student’s wellbeing and mental health.
“Without a proper night’s sleep it may become even harder for Year 12 students to deal with stress and challenges. For example, although staying up late cramming before an exam can be well intentioned it can have the opposite effect on exam results.
“With final Year 12 exams approaching, we want to remind young people to take a proactive approach to getting a good night’s sleep and to seek support if they need it. Simple things like waking up at the same time each day can make a big difference.
“Unfortunately, sleep isn’t always something that comes to mind when we think about getting support for our mental health and wellbeing. However if sleep is a concern, ReachOut is a good place to start to get information, tips and hear about the experiences of students and parents. There is also a range of other support options for students including making an appointment with a mental health professional,” she said.
Other key findings of the research included that 88 per cent of students reported that they had felt stressed about study at some time over the previous 12 months and 55 per cent of students reported that they felt extremely or very stressed about study in the past two weeks. In terms of causes of study stress, worry about not being able to live the life they had planned for themselves and worry about how they will compare to other students were the concerns most commonly expressed by students.
Parents and carers can play an important role in helping their teens manage their sleep and exam and study stress. For tips, information and support parents and carers can visit ReachOut Parents.
● Jackie Hallan, Director of Service at ReachOut
● Case studies
ReachOut is the leading online mental health service in Australia supporting young people during tough times.
ReachOut helps young people feel better about today and the future, no matter what challenge they’re facing. They provide a safe place where young people can openly express themselves, explore what’s happening in their lives, connect with people who understand their situation, and find the resources to help them manage their challenges now and in the future.
Anonymous, free and 100% online, ReachOut has been designed specifically for – and with – young people. From one-to-one support from experienced peer workers, to online forums, as well as tips, stories and resources, ReachOut offers a wide range of support options that allow young people to engage in the ways they want to, when they want to, and has been doing so for more than 20 years.
And, ReachOut Parents and ReachOut Schools provide valuable information, resources and advice to help parents, carers and educators to better understand the young people in their lives and to play an active role in their wellbeing.
ReachOut encourages safe reporting about mental ill health and suicide as per the Mindframe guidelines