Bullying is often underestimated in its impact on the lives of both young people and adults. In addition to the immediate emotional (and, at times, physical) injury that bullying causes, it can also cause long-term health and wellness problems. One of the main problems bullying can cause is disturbed sleep, which affects both victims of bullying and the bullies themselves. What’s more, disturbed sleep can further feed into the negative effects of bullying, creating a vicious cycle that can become a serious, long-term problem.
In this article, we’ll go in-depth about what bullying is, how it affects the people involved, and how that ties into sleep. We will also explore steps to stop ongoing bullying, and prevent bullying from occurring in the future.
What is Bullying?
Bullying is one of the main issues affecting children and young people today. It’s talked about on the news, on TV shows, in academic literature, and by policymakers on a regular basis. But what is it, really?
Bullying is unwanted, aggressive, and harmful behavior between school-age children that is repeated or has the potential to be repeated, over time. It involves a real or perceived power imbalance between the person inflicting the behavior (the bully) and the person on whom the behavior is inflicted (the victim.) These roles can be further complicated when a young person is both bullied by someone and bullies someone else (a bully-victim.)
Bullying refers to a very large range of behaviors and can involve anything from social exclusion to name-calling to physical violence. While bullying can obviously have an immediate negative impact, it is important to remember that it can also have long-term negative effects on both the victim and the bully.
Bullying affects millions of school-age children and young people every year. Around 20% of students aged 12-18 report having been bullied, while 30% of young people admit to having bullied others. Meanwhile, 70.6% of students and 70.4% of school staff say they have witnessed bullying in their schools.