Getting a good night’s sleep: a guide for teachers and education staff

You need good quality sleep to cope with the significant challenges of working in education.

Guides / 2 mins read

Good quality sleep can set you up to face the challenges of everyday life. Yet these challenges can also create feelings of anxiety get in the way of a good night’s sleep.

Our 2020 Teacher Wellbeing Index showed a sharp rise in teachers and education staff suffering with insomnia.

If this chimes with your experience, read on for tips to improve your sleep.

Sleep and why we need it

During sleep complex electrical activity occurs, supporting learning, ability to memorise, make logical decisions and choices. We need sleep to process thoughts and memories, support healthy brain tissue, keep our vital organs healthy and replenish our energy.

Many people claim they only need 5-6 hours of sleep each night to be productive. But science proves this is a myth. Ninety nine per cent of people do physically require the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep.

Routinely sleeping less than 6-7 hours demolishes your immune system. Sleep deficiency directly impacts the hormones that regulate our bodies, slowing everything down, making us less effective. It disrupts blood sugar levels, increases the hunger hormone and contributes to all mental health conditions.

Sleep will give you the strength, resilience and endurance that you need so much and help keep things in perspective.

So what can you do? How can you chase away the monkey mind and gain a restful night’s sleep to be ready for tomorrow’s classroom?

56%

of education staff suffer from insomnia and difficulties sleeping (TWIX 2020)

9 tips for a good night’s sleep

1

Cut the caffeine

Caffeine sensitivity can vary, but doctors recommend limiting caffeine after 12pm.


2

Avoid alcohol

Alcohol has a dehydrating effect and reduces sleep quality.


3

Set boundaries

Take regular breaks during the day and switch off when it’s time to do so.


4

Disconnect

Beware of constant connectivity. Avoid blue light from screens before bedtime.


5

Create rituals

Find the bedtime rituals that help you wind down and relax. A bath, candles, yoga, reading etc.


6

Lower the lights

If you can’t block light in your bedroom, consider wearing a sleep mask.


7

Keep it cool

From 9pm your core body temperature falls, easing you towards sleep. Make sure your bedroom is cool to help you on your journey towards sleep.


8

Write down your anxieties

Worries always seem bigger at night. Write them down before you go to sleep, so they can be contained elsewhere.


9

Have a routine

Go to sleep and wake up at the same time each day.


9 tips for a good night's sleep poster

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