A wake up call: Consilium Evolve Academy finds Sunday lie-ins detrimental to mood and learning
Published by Schools North East 12.01.24
Garfield might be a famously lazy cat, but he isn’t alone in disliking Mondays. Most of us do, right? This is a safe space, you can admit it!
Even more so now that Consilium Evolve, an alternative provision academy in Sunderland, has found the antidote to the infamous Monday Blues. And plot twist: it’s to avoid Sunday snoozing.
Wait, what?! Let’s hear them out…
Easy-going Sundays can deplete the batteries
The secondary school challenges the conventional wisdom on a Sunday lie-in, labelling it "one of the worst things you can do for your mood". Now that’s something we weren’t expecting to hear!
Yes, contrary to popular belief, their analysis of students' sleep patterns exposed that a laid-back Sunday doesn't recharge the batteries; instead, it drains them, negatively impacting the start of the school week.
This theory has even been backed by specialists! Evolve, part of Consilium Academies, worked with a sleep specialist to help students understand the link between a good night’s sleep, their mood, and consequently their ability to learn.
Together they recognised the potential detrimental consequences of a lazy Sunday… Yikes.
Practical tips that can benefit the whole school community
Robert Bell, Evolve Head Teacher, said: "We are cracking the code: Sunday lie-ins are a significant disruptor to students' sleep patterns and jeopardise a good start to the school week. It's not about fearing Monday; it's about nailing Sunday.”
Robert champions the importance of sleep for learning, and we have to say, we highly agree!
Working with Kerry Davies from The Sleep Fixer, the academy hosts sleep clinics not just for the students but for their parents, carers, and staff too.
As part of its sleep education initiative to improve moods and learning, Evolve provides practical tips relevant to students and the wider school community.
Davies explains: "In our discussions, a common thread emerged concerning Sunday nights, with students mentioning difficulties sleeping and anticipating the start of the week. Many adults echoed similar sentiments.
“Yet, the culprit isn't necessarily the Monday blues. Instead, let's focus on Sunday morning, we asked – what time did you wake up? How did you spend your morning? Was it more laid-back than other days of the week? Naturally, this can negatively impact sleep pressure, affecting how tired you feel as the day unfolds. A lack of daytime activity can result in feeling less fatigued at night.
“While forcing yourself to sleep at bedtime is a challenge, you can take full control of your morning routine and waking hours. There's compelling evidence that a well-structured morning routine promotes better sleep and with better sleep comes a better mood. Your circadian rhythm appreciates consistency and benefits from clear guidance; it's essential not to send mixed signals. It's all about establishing and maintaining a routine."
Evolve is no stranger to carrying out various missions that empower students with the knowledge and tools they need to prioritise their health and wellbeing, and this approach to sleep is exactly that.
Bell adds: “The advantages of a solid night's sleep are evident: students have a more positive outlook, are more alert, and experience a significant boost in memory and focus.
“That's why we make a point to have conversations about sleep daily and build it into our established daily habit of journaling, so students can see for themselves the direct link between a good night’s sleep and a good day at school.
“Just as we invest considerable time teaching about proper nutrition, we recognise that sleep is equally vital. We wouldn't go for days with minimal food intake, and similarly, our students shouldn't endure weeks of disrupted and inadequate sleep.
“This conscious effort to track and enhance sleep patterns helps us to perform at our best and avoid the Monday blues.”
Chris Zarraga, Director of Schools North East, said: “The idea of giving up laid-back Sundays is unlikely to be a crowd pleaser, but if it can contribute to a happier, healthier, and more successful life, we should at least try it out!
“Well done to everyone at Consilium Evolve; this proactive approach to gaining a deeper understanding of how sleep can impact our health and wellbeing is something the entire community can – and will – benefit from.”
So, what’s your new plan this Sunday morning?
Consilium Evolve is a Schools North East Partner School. If you’d like to find out more about our Partner School membership, click here.