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Sleep deprivation and mental health

Discussion in 'Education news' started by monicabilongame, Sep 28, 2015.

  1. monicabilongame

    monicabilongame Star commenter


    Apparently students who are sleep-deprived are more at risk of developing mental health problems, and teachers now have one MORE thing to be watching out for.

    Has no-one considered that it would be exactly the same for teachers? That the lack of sleep through stress, anxiety, and sheer working up to and beyond midnight coupled with early mornings could be counter-productive for teachers' mental wellbeing? Who is looking out for them?
  2. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    Many "normal" teachers know and understand this; however I have come across those who like to guide teachers who don't believe it. I'm surprised that most teachers still seem to remain sane.
    drek and slingshotsally like this.
  3. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    I suffered extreme sleeplessness, anxiety-induced, in my last few years in headship; indeed, it was the main reason I decided to go early. It definitely affected my mental health and continues to do so.
    drek likes this.
  4. -myrtille-

    -myrtille- Occasional commenter

    I'm the complete opposite - as the term drags on I just get increasingly tired and I've been in bed by 9:30pm two or three times this week. It's nearly 10pm now so I expect to be fast asleep within half an hour.

    It is noticeable that a number of pupils are exhausted. By March/April of last year there were Y11s wandering around looking like zombies from attending intervention sessions before school, at lunchtime and after school, along with homework and trying to do normal teenager stuff. Then you get the ones who have been on games consoles 'til the early hours of the morning and the ones with major sporting commitments (cyclists seem to be amongst the worst - the sheer mileage they put in is terrifying).
    palmtree100 likes this.
  5. xena-warrior

    xena-warrior Star commenter

    Without wishing to in any way diminish the stressfulness of teaching, I left it years ago and still periodically suffer from insomnia. It makes the job very much harder but can occur even when there are no other stressors.
    A midnight bedtime for Y11s (and I mean when the light goes out, the toys are put away and they settle down to sleep) is the norm at my school (student survey a couple of years ago). It's too late, especially if you have to be up at 7 for the ludicrous 8.10 start.
  6. mo-kibrit

    mo-kibrit New commenter

    Our students always suffer from the sleeping hours after a long vacation. During the vacation, they used to sleep during the day more than in the night. They come to school and find it difficult to change this routine especially in the first week.
    palmtree100 likes this.
  7. Calpurnia99

    Calpurnia99 Star commenter

    I've had a chest infection for a month and cough all night. I'm so TIRED I can barely function, and yes, it is affecting my mental health.
    drek likes this.
  8. Grandsire

    Grandsire Star commenter

    Disrupted sleep patterns or an excessive need for sleep are always associated with changes in my mental health, although whether they're a symptom or a cause is not clear.
  9. Calpurnia99

    Calpurnia99 Star commenter

    I've been proper poorly. I need a prolonged period of rest. Just imagine how warmly that would be received. I bet my GP wouldn't even write me a sick note.
  10. hhhh

    hhhh Star commenter

    There was an article in the news saying that actually, that might be just what people do need-it didn't go so far as to say your GP can prescribe a week in Marbs though!
    Obviously sometimes we need pills, but most people find their mental and physical health is much better when they eat well, exercise, sleep and have a 'holiday' whether that be a trip abroad or just a break from stress. As a teacher, especially in the later years, I struggled to do those things.
    drek likes this.
  11. hhhh

    hhhh Star commenter

    I was once told at a HSE meeting that your employer does have a duty to consider your mental AND physical health even when you're out of your workplace. And I think most experienced teachers on here would agree we worked better when we had less of that stuff to do and actually could sleep?
    drek likes this.
  12. rosievoice

    rosievoice Star commenter

    It doesn't matter.

    If you keel over with work-related stress and insomnia, on your knees with fatigue because of your heavy workload and lack of a work/life balance, they'll simply wheel you out and slot a younger and cheaper NQT in your place. Sorted.
    drek likes this.
  13. RedBedHead94

    RedBedHead94 Established commenter

    I'm living this exact hell. Half a term in to my NQT year and the workload saw me spiral into depression and anxiety disorder. I'm now looking at either being dismissed or resigning from my post.

    Someone really needs to realise we aren't blooming robots!
    drek likes this.
  14. ShutterPup

    ShutterPup New commenter

    I'm a trainee just 2 months into my PGCE. I've had problems with sleep paralysis for years and one of my main worries going into this was "how about is this going to affect my mental health...and in turn affect the kids I'm mean to be inspiring"...but so far it's actually had quite a positive effect, having something to focus on is really helpful.

    From what I've read though it seems like it's only a matter of time until that all piles up on me and I look back at this post and laugh at my naivety!
    RedBedHead94 likes this.

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