My new favorite word is “edusomnia.” I first encountered this word on one of my daily blog reads:Principals Page. I think it’s genius.
Teachers are odd creatures. We love our jobs. We hate our jobs. We feel energetic and fulfilled in our classrooms. We are consumed by dread as Sunday comes to an end and Monday approaches with the promise of another week of drama.
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My husband (in his best Austin Powers voice) refers to us teacher-types as an enigma wrapped in a conundrum. I think what he is saying is that our permanent seat on the emotional roller coaster that is the school year doesn’t make any sense... to him. But he’s not a teacher.
How many of you have ever laid in bed on a Sunday night, eyes wide open counting the hours until you have to get up but completely unable to fall asleep? Go on, raise your hands because I KNOW I’m not alone on this one, people.
Me: Okay, this isn’t so bad. It’s only 11. That’s a pretty good bedtime.
Me: (slightly frantic) So maybe I read a little too long. Gosh, it’s already midnight...I better get to sleep.
Me: (increasingly frantic) Are you kidding me? I have to get up in four hours! FOUR HOURS!
Me: (in a numb state of paranoia thinking of the rapidly approaching day) Should I just get up? Maybe I could go in early and get a jumpstart on planning for next week?
And while we might be able to fake it for the first few hours of the next day, let’s be real with ourselves. By lunchtime, we are barely recognizable. I know that I can say a sleepless night renders me a snarling beast of a woman who has little to no patience. Not exactly the picture of the ideal teacher, is it?
In anticipation of another year filled with fairly regular sleepless Sunday nights, I did a quick Google search to see if there is any finger snapping advice out there. Here’s some of what I found courtesy ofwww.selfhelpmagazine.com and www.msnbc.com:
Absolutely NO late night TV watching in bed allowed!
Yes, I know that many of us have faithfully fallen asleep to the television. However, and maybe I only speak for myself here, I also know that just as often I get sucked into a late night Will and Grace marathon and am up until 3:00 a.m. You know you’ve done it too.
After 15-20 sleepless minutes GET UP and GET OUT OF BED.
Don’t turn on a ton of lights (okay, maybe one light so you don’t fall down the stairs) and go somewhere else. Your bed is for sleep, not sleeplessness.
Try setting the temperature in your bedroom to be a few degrees cooler.
I mean, why wouldn’t you choose to embrace the ability to control your climate after a day in a classroom with no thermostat and near tropical temperatures?
No more after school naps.
I don’t take naps because I always wake up in a foul mood and nobody needs that. However, I know many of my teacher friends out there who LOVE nothing more than to put there heads down after a long day.
And my personal favorite...set aside time for your worries.
Sometimes as I lay there, I replay a frustrating scene with a student over and over. Or I compose the brilliant response I should have had when talking to my administrator earlier that day. Instead of spending your time in bed worrying about school drama, think about keeping a journal and dedicating ten to fifteen minutes a day to your worries so that you can leave them behind when it’s time to go to sleep.
Sweet dreams! I know we’ll all need them!
Share your sleep secrets in the comments section!