Sunday, November 30, 2014

Teacher Insomnia

Now that we know healthy sleep prevents stress, obesity, Alzheimer’s etc. etc....

Can we talk about teacher insomnia?  Planning lessons, behavior management, organizing paperwork, testing, admin protocols, parent concerns…they stir up a chatter that’s hard to turn off.

There’s no cure-all for insomnia.  But I’m posting some of my best all-natural tips.  

1)      Have a pad, pen and flashlight at your bedside.  If a school idea pops into your head, write it down, so it doesn’t keep you up.

2)      Breathe deeply and slowly.  Keep focused on your breaths.

3)      Be aware of body tension.  Briefly rub your shoulders, twist your ankles, or pull your jaw gently down and side to side.

4)      Lay a soft sock across your eyes.  Even better, fill it with a small bag of uncooked lentils or rice.  The weight relaxes the eye muscles and face.

5)      Listen to relaxing music.  Loop it softly on your MP3 player.  It helps shut off the teacher voice.  My favorite: guitar music or hypnotic counting songs.

6)      Repeat a phrase (silently), like “Sleep” or “Go away…”

7)      Massage your face.

8)      Open and close your eyes slowly, every few seconds.  Increase the intervals till you fall asleep.

9)      Stop drinking 2 hours before sleep.  A full bladder will keep you awake.

10)   Meditate during the day, even if it’s only for a minute at a time.  Less stress during the day will help you sleep at night.

 …and have sweet dreams!

Here's what I call my Teacher Insomnia Pack.  It has 5 counting songs with a soothing voice that counts over relaxing music.  It's my go-to pack for a 5-minute meditation at lunch time, too!   

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