The Australians are teaching teenagers about sleep. It seems a little counter-intuitive, along the lines of taking coals to Newcastle, but the more you think about it, the more sensible it seems.
For something that is so important, it's remarkable how little we really know about sleep. Even on the most basic question - what is sleep for? - the general consensus is that there is no general consensus and no on really knows. On a more day to day level, sleep occupies a great chunk of our lives, but it's something that we don't really learn anything about.
There are all kinds of lessons in schools about sex education and healthy eating and keeping fit... but what about sleep? It might sound vaguely subversive to promote the cause of sleep. But then look around at the yawning ranks of teenagers who have missed out on sleep and what is more important? If you haven't slept properly, there's less chance of learning properly.
A project in schools in South Australia gave teenagers some basic advice about sleeping - how many hours they needed, suggestions for getting into a regular pattern of healthy sleep and avoiding drinks before bedtime such as coffee which might disrupt sleep. According to the research, this helped teenagers to establish a better sleep routine.
It might also help them to avoid that great scourge of teenage life - "weekend jetlag". This is where they stay up so late at the weekend, blurring morning and night, that going back to school on Monday is like crashing back into a different time zone. Sympathy? No chance.