As a teacher, you make over 1,500 educational decisions every single day. By the time 9 pm rolls around, you are exhausted and ready to enjoy a restful night’s sleep. If you fall asleep immediately (hello, sleep deprivation) or you toss and turn into the wee hours of the night, you are not alone. Many teachers struggle to get the night’s rest they need and deserve. Get started down the right path by forming a bedtime self-care routine and sticking to it. Here are a few ideas to get you on your way to a great night’s sleep.
Read a book that has nothing to do with teaching. Give your brain a break from thinking about teaching and read something indulgent such as Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan or A Spark of Light by Jodi Picoult. Getting lost in a storyline is a great way to forget about your stress from the day and get your brain in the mood for sleep.
Along those same lines, using a sound machine app, such as the Sleep Pillow, or listening to your favorite podcast can help ease your mind as you’re going to sleep. Are you tossing and turning about something that happened at school today? Feeling anxious about all of the papers you need to grade? An interesting podcast may be just be the distraction you need. Don’t forget to set the sleep timer on your phone so that the podcast doesn’t play all night long.
Stretch your body using a simple routine each night. I love the 6 Bedtime Stretches from the Fitness Republic. The Kneeling Hip Flexer and the Extended Cone are fabulous for the teacher that has been on her feet all day.
Taking a warm shower or bath can put any tired teacher into a relaxed and calm mood. One of our favorite companies (with a mission to give back) is Pacha Soap Company. Check out their Lavender bath bombs….pure heaven. Speaking of lavender, the scent has long been associated with relaxation and sleep. Try essential oils in a diffuser or spray a lavender room spray in your bedroom before you head to sleep.
When you are setting your morning alarm on your phone, also turn on the do not disturb setting. It will prevent your phone from dinging all night long. Nervous that you might miss a really important call? Have an iPhone? You can add people to your favorites list and set the option to allow calls from favorites.
Quality pajamas can make a big difference in the quality of sleep. Ask for high-quality sleepwear for your next birthday or holiday. I wear only one brand and style of pajamas and I watch for big sales around the holidays. The investment is well worth the reward!
Writing in a bullet journal or a gratitude journal may be just what you need to release all the business in your head. Teachers are constantly on the go and have very little quiet time alone. Make journaling a habit that requires you to slow down and focus on yourself for a few minutes. It can be as simple as writing down three highlights from your day or writing a few paragraphs to get things off your mind.
Getting a full night’s rest is essential to being at your best. You’ll feel more patient and ready to face whatever is thrown your way in the classroom. Interested in learning more about Teacher Self-Care? Check out our e2e Module Teacher Self-Care, a module created for teachers, by teachers.