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Educators have more or less become accustomed to juggling work and their personal life. With demanding work schedules that include regular meetings, lesson planning, grading papers, and creating supplemental materials for classroom engagement – it is inevitable that work often follows us home. At the end of the workday, home responsibilities also demand our attention. Often times, when our heads hit the pillow, it is usually a few hours before we have to get up and do it all over again. This is the life of an unbalanced educator – early mornings, late nights and inadequate sleep.

So, what happens after being on this kind of hamster wheel for a while? Teacher burnout. Could getting more sleep be one of the solutions to being better able to cope with all the things that we have to juggle?

There are many benefits to getting more sleep. Sleeping is so important that without it our immune system suffers, resulting in illnesses. A well-rested teacher, who practices other healthy habits, ultimately is able to accomplish the balance that is required for work and keeping up at home.

Below are a few of the rich benefits that more sleep offers. Keep in mind, that other activities such as being better organised, time management; diet and exercise also factor in to a healthier you.

Energy boost: The right amount of sleep will give you increased energy. Sleep is a natural energy enhancer. Research shows that seven to nine hours of sleep is required for adults. With the right amount you will be able to make it through the day, and still have energy remaining for those other tasks on your to-do list.

Mood enhancer: Think about the last time that you lacked sleep. Do you remember how cranky and exhausted you were? After a night of good sleep, you will wake up feeling rested and ready for your day. You are less likely to snap at someone and more willing to get additional chores done.

Stress reducer & immunity booster: Mental stress and exhaustion can create unstable emotional behaviours. Stress elevates blood pressure levels, which can often result in additional health problems. These include having a stroke, aneurism, and even a heart attack. When you rest, your immune system repairs itself. Sometimes a stuffy nose, or a bad cough is a result of little to no sleep. When you feel overwhelmed, get some rest. When you wake up, your stress levels should drop significantly, because you have allowed your body to get enough rest, which results in a clearer state of mind.

Achy joints: Our body speaks to us when it is not getting enough rest. The right amount of sleep aids in healing achy joints. Sleep allows the blood in your body to circulate while your body is in rest state. Achy feet need relaxation and rest. Sleeping allows your body to heal, and the aches will slowly decrease with the correct amount of sleep.

Improved memory: Have you ever gone into a room to retrieve something, but forgot what it was once you got there? Sleep deprivation contributes to some of our forgetfulness. With multiple thoughts continuously on our minds, it is often common to forget the little things. Some of these include, misplacing the mobile phone, keys, wallets, and USB drives. Sleep helps to store memories in the proper compartments of the brain. As educators, we have plenty to remember. Help to organise your thoughts, by getting the proper amount of rest.

Although it may seem unmanageable to get the correct amount of sleep, it isn’t. Getting the proper dosage of sleep helps to change what seems impossible to get done, to possible. We owe it to our families, ourselves, and those we educate daily.

By PreSha Barnes

PreSha has been an educator for the past seven years. Originally from Houston, Texas, PreSha is passionate about empowering other educators. She is also a Teach Middle East Magazine Blogger.