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Sleep and Our Teachers

12/11/14

Every week another article relating to sleep is published. It's something we all need and something most of us feel we don't get enough of.

To create greater awareness and stress its importance, World Sleep Day was created in 2008 by the World Association of Sleep Medicine (WASM). This year World Sleep Day was held on March 14th with focus 'Restful Sleep, Easy Breating, Healthy Body'.

We decided to take a closer look and asked our teachers to complete a short survey on their attitudes towards how much sleep they get.

Do you get enough sleep?

68.7% of our teachers don’t feel like they get enough sleep. This is worrying considering the NHS state that sleep deprivation, apart from making us irritable and you are less able to work at your best, can have profound consequences for your health. According to the NHS fact sheet on their website, “regular poor sleep puts you at risk of serious medical conditions including obesity, heart disease, and diabetes – and it shortens your life expectancy.”

So what is keeping our teachers up at night?

Approximately a third of our teachers are worrying about the bits and pieces we did or didn’t get done, another third are wondering why they are still lying there awake, and the final third are thinking about things like: is my alarm set; what day is it?; when are the levels or reports due?; amongst other things.

How many hours of sleep should we be getting?

Most of us have the best intentions of trying to get the right amount of sleep. According to the National Sleep Foundation adults should aim to get 7 to 9 hours sleep a night. They recognise that sleep needs vary for different age groups but also for the individual. You need to take into consideration you basal sleep need and be aware of your accumulated sleep debt. For more information visit http://sleepfoundation.org/how-sleep-works/how-much-sleep-do-we-really-need. Do our teachers receive 7 to 9 hours sleep a night? 31.1% of teachers do, while 68.9% receive less than 7 hours sleep per night.

What can we do?

Ok , we know that lack of sleep is a problem but what can we do? Our candidates found that the best strategy was to block all light from the room. Take a look at what other strategies our teachers have recommended for getting a fantastic night’s sleep. 

Proven to work 

  • Do regular physical exercise twice a week in addition to work.
  • Hot shower/bath
  • Reading
  • Meditation or breathing exercise
  • Play relaxing music quietly

The sound of it is making me sleepy

  • Clean bed sheets, fluffed pillows and an early relaxing evening
  • A walk early evening, some yoga and bedtime reading.
  • Give children to grandparents!
  • Put a boring radio programme on, and say to yourself, "I really need to listen to this!
  • Spraying your pillow with lavender and chamomile spray

Not so sure but you never know...

  • Liquorice tea
  • The moral maze on Radio 4
  • Alcohol
  • Eat a kiwifruit
  • Space documentaries

Can you recommend something else? Email Megan at mparsons@protocol-education.com with your suggestion.

Looking for more?

Read our blogs from our candidates and our staff to hear their side of the story. Maybe read them next time you can’t fall asleep? With the blue light filter on of course! 

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