Friday, 20 January 2017

Loud nights... (Palestine 15)

I have just two more nights left here in Jenin before my return to Stockholm, Sweden. For the second time in my just over 2 week stay I slept through the 5am prayers (that are pretty loud... and very beautiful).

There are nights when there is more than just the prayers that disturb... there is the sound of gunfire and sound bombs... and sometimes angry shouting. There is not the triple glazing I am used to at home in Sweden either... so everything sounds loud. Often you can hear the cries of young children that have been woken by the sounds.

This is the reality of the city I am staying in right now.

Being married to a sleep researcher (now professor... just had to have a little proud moment sharing that) means I reflect a lot on sleep and how that affects our ability to function.

Disturbed sleep will mean that there is not enough rest and recuperation. That the sleep will not be as efficient at helping the children (and adults) to store short term memories into long term memories... this will affect learning. It makes it harder to learn. Sleep is an essential component of learning.

The reality is as it is. One can only strive and hope that this reality will change. But change is also harder when you are sleep deprived. Emotions become bigger when you are tired... happy can feel euphoric, sad can feel overwhelming, anger  and frustration can be difficult to control... there is plenty of research out there sharing this (check my previous posts about sleep).

Nap/rest time is always a part of the day I will not skip with young children... and by that I mean children up until at least six.. probably older for some children.
Having a good night's sleep is important for everyone... regular bed times really helps children develop a good sleep hygiene that they can continue as adults. Getting into a good routine of sleep is a great way to support your children in their learning.

So I see the noisy nights as something extra the education system here in Jenin needs to take into consideration... that maybe children are more tired on some days after a noisy night, that maybe if there are many noisy nights in a row that there will be a tired accumulation that will make the learning slower than usual... and that a teacher understanding this can maybe compensate and allow the children to learn at a pace that will work... maybe longer breaks to be able to recuperate... maybe more hands on learning so that the whole body is learning... sitting still might make it harder to keep awake... so fidgeting is used to keep the body awake... and often this is not seen as "good behaviour".

Then of course there is the psychological affects of living in a place with guns, with occupation, with death and imprisonment of parents... but for this post I will not go into that...

a view over Jenin... the square building just to the left of the green is a school

the entrance to the school... this was once the main entrance to the school... not anymore as you can see. Rubbish is somewhat of an epidemic here. it is also a reality.

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