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Girls chatting in their rooms in evening.
Rounds every 30 minutes, long conversations about the importance of sleep with the students, constant attempts to persuade the students not to use technology before going to bed - this is the regular working routine of the CIS Residential Life Team Members at night. At a first glance, CIS sleep regulation policies may seem very strict, but if to look at them deeply, it becomes clear why the school has introduced these rules.


"We are caring for our students, since for most of them, CIS has become a home," Mrs. Larisa Kondrateva, Head of Residential Life at CIS says. "Sometimes we have to be quite strict with the students here, but we do it for their well-being. We have already taken certain measures to make sure that the students get enough sleep while they are here at CIS. Our team does regular rounds at night to make sure that all of the students are in bed on time, and we try to persuade all of them that they need to have a quiet hour in the dorms before it is the official bedtime," Mrs. Kondrateva says.

Indeed, sleep habits are very important for the school and the students' well-being. After 10 pm, it is quiet time in the CIS dorms. This means that students are not allowed to visit each other's room anymore, listen to loud music or talk very loudly. Residential Life Team members also ask them not to use their technology, as it is scientifically proven that using one's cell phone or computer before sleep negatively affects their sleep habits.

"Proper sleep helps boost our immune system, helps us recover both physically and mentally, while restoring and rebuilding learning processes. It is especially important for the students, since after they have learned something new, during the sleep their brain is going through the process of revising everything. So sleep helps us learn and memorize what we are learning," Mr. Ryan Jordan, CIS College and Emotional Counsellor says.
Boys' Dorm and the Library at night.

Mr. Jordan says that studies conducted by psychologists have proved a direct correlation between lack of sleep and academic performance of students. "Apparently, the students in our school need to study less and sleep more. They have to shut down their devices and go to bed at a decent hour," he recommends.

According to the school rules, the students are allowed to study until 9 pm. After that, they may have some rest, enjoy talking with their friends or family back home, have a snack or have a short walk on the school campus. "Our school has a great location, which is also very helpful when working on our students' sleeping habits," Mrs. Kondrateva says, "The river and the pine forest make the atmosphere around the school very special, and I think it helps the students relax and calm down before they go to sleep."

Some of the kids prefer to do the extended study hall, though. This means that they are allowed to study in the dorm common areas until 23.00 under the dorm people's supervision. "The extended study hall is popular among our DP1 and DP2 students, since they are very focused on academics, have a lot of assignments to fulfill, and definitely need more time for this," Mrs. Kondrateva says, "but it is still good for the students to finish earlier to have some free time before going to bed."

Ms. Talita Nader, the Girls' Dorm Supervisor, supports Mr. Jordan's and Mrs. Kondrateva's arguments. She says that she always recommends the girls to get offline one hour before bed and to listen to some calm music, read a book, or even do yoga. "I think I am glad to say that most of the girls are very responsible with their schedule and sleeping habits. We, as the Residential Life Team, have been trying to create routine when everything is quiet around 10 pm; and at 11 pm, I really encourage them to go to their beds and stop talking. The girls are very aware of what they need to do," Mrs. Nader says.
Students hanging out at a recreation room.

Mr. Jordan agrees that regular daily routine, indeed, is very important: "The big question is how many hours of sleep people actually need. 7-9 hours should be good for teenagers, but it can vary depending on the individual. Any less than that can seriously impair your health and your ability to learn. I think the first step is to create a schedule. Decide at what time you need to wake up, and then rewind the clock by 8 hours. Do it nightly and do the same thing everyday, so that your body knows your schedule," he suggests.

The Residential Life Team at CIS has created a schedule for the students a long time ago. The kids have to be in their beds at 11 pm, and this rule is followed very strictly on working days. "We make rounds every 30 minutes, starting at 10 pm. It is very important for us to calm the students down, to make them stop using their technology, listening to loud music and disturbing others," Mr. Denis Vaitsekhovskii, Boys' Dorm Supervisor says.

"We want our students to be responsible, but we do not want them to forget about the importance of sleep. That is why we regularly organize meetings with the Emotional Counselor and ask him to inform students about it. The dorm supervisors also mention this during their regular dorm meetings on Sundays from time to time," Mrs. Kondrateva says.

On weekends, students have more freedom: even though the members of the Residential Life Team still do regular rounds in the dorms on Fridays and Saturdays, students are not required to go to sleep by 11 pm on these days. They may choose the time to go to bed independently, since they do not have to wake up early; however, they are still supposed to be very quiet in case someone else is asleep in the dorms.

"I think it is important to provide students with some freedom, so we allow the students to build their own schedules on weekends. Hopefully, soon they will recognize the importance of sleep and will act responsibly, taking care of their sleeping habits and their own health," Mrs. Kondrateva says. To conclude, Mr Jordan's statement clearly sums up the importance of sleep - "If the students want to see themselves be the best academically, physically, and emotionally the best thing they can do is to get enough sleep".