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Sleep as a tool to optimize daytime performance.

Free sleep education, screening and resources

Geisinger’s Wake Up and Learn™ (WUAL) program is designed to help students of all ages improve their sleep so they can reach their goals in the classroom and beyond. WUAL has been used with middle and high school students, college students, medical students — even residents and fellows. No matter the participants’ age, the basic pillars of the program are the same: 

  • Educational resources and tools are provided to schools to raise awareness of how sleep is relevant to the things that matter to students — such a grades, relationships, athletic performance and mental health. 
  • Brief surveys are used to identify students at high risk for problematic sleep. 
  • A more comprehensive survey can be completed, resulting in personalized feedback outlining potential sleep problems and recommendations that can be shared with students’ primary care doctors.
  • For students under age 18, parents are provided information before the surveys are distributed.

Everyone can benefit from improved sleep, and it’s critical that finances aren’t a barrier to using the program. WUAL is funded with philanthropic and grant dollars, allowing schools to access this innovative program for free.

It’s about more than grades

The benefits of good sleep and the consequences of poor sleep can be especially pronounced in learning environments. When you sleep, the information you learn throughout the day becomes a concrete part of your memory, allowing you to recall that information in the future (like on your next exam). Problematic sleep can result in a deterioration of school performance, falling asleep in class and frequent tardiness or absenteeism.

But prioritizing healthy sleep is about more than just getting better grades. Restorative sleep improves speed and accuracy on the playing field, strengthens the immune system, improves mood and decision-making, boosts creativity, even improves your skin. Without the proper amount and quality of sleep:

  • Students experience irritability and mood swings, which can put a strain on relationships. 
  • They’re more prone to risk-taking behaviors, such as drug and alcohol use.
  • Mental health problems, such as depression, are exacerbated 

WUAL isn’t just about getting better grades. It’s about helping students achieve physical, mental and emotional wellness.

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Free sleep assessment

One key component of Wake Up and Learn is the free sleep assessment, which can involve synchronized survey distribution across the student body or on-demand administration, depending on the situation.

Step one: Students complete a short online survey and are immediately told if there’s room to improve their sleep. This feedback gives students a chance to self-reflect on their relationship with sleep and how their habits may be holding them back.

Step two: Those showing signs of sleep concerns are invited to complete a more detailed assessment, which is reviewed by a sleep specialist. 

Step three: A personalized letter is returned with guidance on how to best partner with their doctor to improve their sleep. For some, improving poor sleep is just a matter of tweaking a few sleep habits. Unfortunately, better sleep hygiene is not enough to address a sleep disorder and partnering with the right healthcare provider is critical. For those with an undiagnosed sleep disorder, this simple assessment process can shorten the time from symptom onset to diagnosis and treatment by years — even decades. 

When working with students under age 18, parents are provided information about the program prior to survey administration. If sleep problems are suspected, they are asked to sign a permission form before the more extensive survey is administered and encouraged to go through the questions with their child. The personalized recommendation letter is sent directly to the parent, with the option to also have the letter shared with the school and sent to the child’s doctor based on parent preference.


Sleep education and tools

The typical student doesn’t care about sleep. They care about grades, friends, music, sports… the list goes on.

Wake Up and Learn focuses on helping students connect the dots between healthy sleep and what is important to them. Educational resources and tools are freely available to schools and students, including:

An online video series covering a variety of sleep-related topics
Social media content highlighting important sleep facts
Posters and bulletin board materials
Collectible palm cards and stickers

Wake Up and Learn provides educational opportunities and support for school faculty and parents, too. 

What is Wake Up and Learn?

Dr. Anne Marie Morse introduces Wake Up and Learn and the troubling statistics that inspired her to meet students where they are — in school!

How’s your sleep? 

Complete our short sleep surveys to receive instant feedback on whether your sleep is on the right track or if there’s room for improvement.

Complete our sleep surveys


Want to bring Wake Up and Learn to your school?

Fill out the form below to be contacted by a member of the Wake Up and Learn team.

Program Support

Thanks to Coverys Community Healthcare Foundation, Geisinger Janet Weis Children’s Hospital, Jazz Pharmaceuticals and ResMed Foundation for their support of the Wake Up and Learn Program. Together, we can increase awareness about sleep disorders and advocate for their appropriate treatment.

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