How Teachers Can Get a Better Night’s Sleep

As a teacher, you are passionate about your job and know just how much your work hours extend beyond the 8 AM to 3 PM of the school day. There are administrative meetings, lesson plans to make, and marking to get done – all of which means that educators often end up with well more than a 40 hour work week and less sleep than they need — an average of just 6 hours per night

Couple that with a demanding job both physically (you are probably on your feet for the better part of the day) and emotionally, and you can easily see why it is that, while guiding our youth is very exhilarating, it can also be exhausting. What you really need is quality sleep.

Ending up tired during the school day can not only affect your success at leading a class, but it can also compromise your immune system, which is no good when working with a lot of young people and their many germs.  

But how do you get more sleep with your busy schedule? Well, part of it may not just be about the sleep duration, but the quality of sleep that you get. 

How to Improve Sleep Quality

You may have noticed that there are a number of products on the market that track your sleep quality, but perhaps you’ve asked yourself how that metric is at all useful. After all, sleep is not a conscious action, so what can you do about the numbers that a sleep tracker shows you?

While sleep trackers can definitely show you major sleep issues like sleep apnoea, another thing they can tell you is how much time you are spending getting to sleep. You may be semi-conscious, so likely not know that your tossing and turning gives you only 5 hours of quality sleep, rather than the 7 you planned. This knowledge demonstrates a sleep issue that you can potentially solve. 

There are a number of recommended actions to help you achieve more restful sleep such as: 

  • Maintain your circadian rhythms: While you might be tempted to sleep in on weekends, this adjustment of your schedule is actually detrimental to your sleep quality as a whole. 
  • Help your body produce melatonin: The darkness naturally stimulates your melatonin levels which helps you fall asleep. To engage your melatonin at the right time, make sure your bedroom is dark and avoid screens (including backlit e-readers) 1-2 hours before bedtime. 
  • Limit your intake of food and drink before bed: Digestion and having to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night can interrupt your sleep cycle. In particular, try to avoid sugar, caffeine, and alcohol right before you lay down to sleep.  

Sounds That Help You Sleep

There are white noise and pink noise machines that can get you a more restful night of sleep, however, there are also a number of podcasts that are designed specifically to get you to quality sleep more quickly. 

Some of the most effective include soothing human voices talking about mundane things like the details of baking bread or telling long stories. Others promote meditation techniques or use ambient noise to help you drift off. These can be amazing for cutting down on the time you spend actually getting to sleep, allowing you to maximise your rest. For more sleep podcasts, check out the following infographic from Casper.

These techniques and tips can make you ready to face the day, the lessons, and give you the energy you need to keep your class excited about learning. 

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Infographic credit:

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