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Sleep is an intrinsic element of the story. In Bourne’s production, much of Act Three takes place within the wooded grounds of the Palace where Aurora and blindfolded sleepwalkers move in trance like states in a 100 year slumber. The movement is based on poses and positions of sleep, dancers have their arms outstretched before them or are curled up against a tree trunk.

There are medical conditions where symptoms include involuntary sleep. Narcolepsy sufferers have no control over short episodes of sleep, it can happen anywhere at any time. “There is a rare ‘Sleeping Beauty’ condition (Kleine-Levin Syndrome) where sufferers experience long sleep episodes.

Many people sleepwalk, carrying out simple or complex and sometimes dangerous activities with no recollection when they wake (somnambulism or noctambulism). Perhaps students in your group sleepwalk or know someone who does?

There is also a lot of research into teenage sleep and the amount of sleep they need or don’t need, the findings vary. Although there does seem to be a consensus on the impact of lack of sleep in teenagers – their academic studies can suffer.

“It’s well-known that teenagers are often night owls and sleepy during the day, so it may be cheering to know that there’s a reason for it.

Research shows that adolescent body clocks differ from those of adults and they do need more sleep. While the average nine- to 10-year-old requires eight hours sleep a night, their older teenage siblings might well need an extra hour and a half.

Lack of sleep is a common cause of under-performance, according to research by the National Sleep Foundation in the US. It found that students obtaining lower grades went to bed later and had fewer hours’ sleep than their higher-achieving classmates.

Difficulties in remembering or concentrating on work in class are associated with sleep deprivation because the brain continues to work while we are asleep, processing new information that enhances the learning process. Some teens can suffer mood or personality changes and may have physical symptoms such as headaches.”

“They often protest that they need the extra hours in bed. But getting too much sleep could in fact be leaving teenagers behind at school, according to research. A study found that they performed better academically if they cut down on lie-ins and had more regular sleep patterns.

And while many think they need nine hours, the optimum amount of sleep for a typical 16-year-old is just seven a night, according to scientists at Brigham Young University, in Utah. Eric Eide, study author, said: ‘We’re not talking about sleep deprivation. The data simply says that seven hours is optimal at that age.’ Reporting the findings in the Eastern Economics Journal, the team said the right amount of sleep decreases with age. The optimum amount of sleep for a ten-year-old is around nine hours while for 12-year-olds it is eight hours.


Most studies suggest teenagers need at least nine hours sleep. And previous studies suggest that children between age seven and 12 need 11 hours in bed. But, according to this latest research by Brigham Young University, the right amount - in terms of testing best in exams - is as follows:

Aged 10: nine to 9.5 hours
Aged 12: eight to 8.5 hours
Aged 16: eleven hours.

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